When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
On this Saturday, the day traditionally devoted to Our Blessed Mother, let us put ourselves in the place of the parent of the suffering child. When we examine the faith of the parent kneeling before Jesus, we see that this is out of more than simple respect or common social interaction; this kneeling is rooted in great need and utter humility. Is our faith in Christ’s healing power as strong as the parent in Matthew’s gospel? Do we put all that we love in the hands of Our Lord, trusting that His power can do what no other power can?
Christ’s power is the light that dispels all darkness. It is the salve that heals all wounds. It is a total victory over enemies, not won by armies or weapons but by reconciliation and loving self- offering. Can we see ourselves as the space illuminated by Christ’s light? Can we see ourselves as the wounded in need of Christ’s healing? Can we let ourselves be defeated by Christ’s embrace?
This total surrender to God, to be on our knees begging as a subject to our Divine and Benevolent King, is central to our lived faith. This is the faith that moves mountains. Let us pray that God gives us the grace to be so humble, to be so aware of our need that our knees bend as we address Jesus as Lord.
—John Brown, S.J.
Lord, what does it mean to totally surrender to you? How does it look? How does it feel? How will we know when that surrender has happened? We look to your Son. We look to his Mother. Though both surrendered to the Father, both suffered immensely. Surrender does not exclude pain; rather surrender invites heartache and sometimes physical torture. When Jesus cried out on the cross, and his Mother agonized at his beaten body, darkness prowled ever closer. Yet in their greatest need, they grabbed for Almighty God and found a consuming Love that united both to eternity. We surrender ourselves to you, Lord. Though we may not know what the future holds, we know it is you who holds our future. And like Jesus, into your hands we commend our spirits.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Please share the Good Word with your friends!