Lord Increase our Faith.
The encounter between the disciples of Jesus and the boy with a mute spirit in today’s gospel stirs up the question “where is the Faith of the disciples all this while they have been with Jesus?”.
It is not something strange that we can be with someone but yet fail to understand the way and manner the person operates. One would expect the disciples of Jesus to heal like their master since they have been with him all this while. Hence, one thing is lacking.
So, it is not all about being with someone. We need to understand the person.
Christianity is not all about going to church, we have to truly understand and have faith in what we are doing.
It is not all about participating in spiritual activities, we truly need to understand what happens when we participate in those spiritual activities. We need to understand what happens when we go in the presence of God every day.
As you come to celebrate the Holy Mass, we have to understand truly, the power and efficacy of the mass. We need to see the mass as real. We are not there to waste our time.
One thing that was lacking in the life of the disciples today is one thing, which is faith.
When we lack faith in whatever we do, we lose the oil. Faith is like the oil that activates our spiritual lives. We need faith. Jesus was straightforward today when He tells the man “Everything is possible with the one who has faith”. We need to pray always that God increases our faith.
The Encounter With Jesus.
In today’s gospel reading, we see how Jesus was able to cure the child with a Mute Spirit after His Disciples were unable to do so for their lack of faith. Let us dig deep to find out the reason the disciples lack such Faith to cast out the mute spirit from the boy.
How Faithless or Faithful?
The first statement of Jesus when he realized that His disciples were not able to cast out the Mute spirit from the boy is “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you?”
This statement shows that Jesus is truly disturbed. He must be exasperated by the faithlessness of his disciples and also the crowd. Why?
1. The point is that the disciples could not do the work of their master, despite being with Him for a long time, just like many go to church, or pray the rosary, but do not understand truly what happens when we do these.
2. Also, the crowd is not a helping matter. Instead of trying to find a way to help the man who is desperate to heal his son, they were busy arguing, blaming and causing chaos.
We also do this when we have problems. Instead of seeking solutions or a way out, we are busy causing trouble, blaming each other and arguing, looking for someone or circumstance to blame.
Our attitude in times of trouble shows how faithless or faithful we are. As Jesus is exasperated today with these, He is also baffled because of our attitudes in times of trouble and problem. It is always during the time of challenges, that we show who we truly are, faithful or faithless. Let us always pray to God to increase our faith.
In totality, our faith in God is not measured by how many years we go to His presence but by how often we believe in what happens in His presence. It is by how little we have known about him and put it into action.
How to Increase Our Faith.
When Jesus asked the father how long the problem has been happening to him?’ the man replies that it is from childhood, He goes on to explain to Jesus how the spirit throws the boy into a fire and the water, to destroy him.
Then, He says to Jesus “But if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.’
Jesus says to him, ‘If you can?’ Everything is possible for anyone who has faith.’ Immediately the father cried out, ‘I do have faith. Help the little faith I have!’ This shows deep trust in Jesus and a deep hunger to have more faith in Jesus. He trusts what Jesus says.
1. Therefore, for our faith to increase, we must first develop the desire to increase it. We shall find avenues to increase our faith. The problem today is that many Christians rather increase their doubt, instead of faith.
2. Just like the father of the boy trusts in Jesus and His words, we have to do the same. For our faith to increase in God, we must be ready to seize every available opportunity to believe and declare our faith in God and His word.
3. We need to consistently work on our faith. The father of the boy shouted, “I Believe, Help my Unbelief.” This act alone goes a long way to show how the man desires an increase of faith.
Let us have the same desire. Let us desire to understand the spiritual power behind whatever we do.
We must have the desire to increase our faith in God. Our prayers should also be “Lord increase our faith”, “Lord increase our faith in times of challenges”, Increase our faith when we want to doubt your power”, increase our faith whenever we pray to you”, Lord increase our faith when we are tempted to lose it”, increase our faith whenever we come in your presence”. This should also be part of our prayer.
4. When the man says “I do have faith. Help the little faith I have!” He acknowledges wholeheartedly that He has faith in Jesus, despite how little.
The man was smart enough to know what was required at that moment of him. He understands now that faith is the secret.
Therefore, we must be ready at all times to stand up for what we believe in and put it into action. God does not despise the little faith that we have in Him. He is only exasperated when we lose it.
Some of us, unlike this man, might lose faith after seeing that the disciples were unable to heal this boy after being with Jesus for a long while.
But this man shows that he is ever ready to increase his faith in God not just for the sake of his son’s wellbeing but for his own good too. His act of believing in God saves him and his son.
Prayer is Powerful
Jesus Christ reveals to his disciples another secret, after healing this boy.
When the disciples approach Jesus secretly and ask him why they are unable to cast out the mute spirit.
Jesus responds to this in verse 29 of Mark 9 saying, “this kind can only be driven out by prayer.”
Here, Jesus reveals the power of prayers. Jesus reveals that there are things we might not be able to do through our human inclinations and limitations, but through prayers, we can. When we pray, great things happen in the spiritual.
The life of a Christian consists of prayers and fasting. These two elements of the Christian life are the surest and fastest way to increase our faith in Christ.
Our faith is increased greatly when we pray sincerely to God and in a way that pleases Him.
A prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian. If we want to see God real, relate with Him in prayer, in a Father-son or Father-daughter relationship. We need to increase our faith in everything we do in life. We do not increase our doubt. Rather, we increase our faith.
May God Increase our faith in Him and give us the grace to love him more always.