Faith Daily | 20February 2023
PRAYER of the DAY - PRAYER OF THE WEEK UNTIL ASH WEDNESDAY APBA p544
you have given your only Son
to be for us both a sacrifice for sin,
and also an example of godly life:
give us grace that we may always thankfully receive
the benefits of his sacrifice,
and also daily endeavour to follow
the blessed steps of his most holy life;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 9: 14-29
14When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. 15When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet him. 16He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; 18and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.” 19He answered them, “You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” 20And they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.” 23Jesus said to him, “If you are able! —All things can be done for the one who believes.” 24Immediately the father of the child cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!” 26After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand. 28When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer.”
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Alan Dann
Jesus seems to land himself in a pickle. There is a restless crowd and some of his disciples who have two dilemmas. Firstly the disciples are confronted by Scribes who are doubting and generally unfriendly. And more importantly they are trying (unsuccessfully) to deal with a desperate father and a gravely sick son, suffering from what we would probably call epilepsy.
The scene is full of doubt and drama! The crowd are looking for a miracle; the scribes are sceptical and arguing; the father is desperate for a cure for his son’s chronic and seemingly incurable illness; the disciples are questioning their ability to heal; and the possible outcome looks grim from all aspects.
In his view He sees:
The frailty of humankind
A lack of faith in God’s will in his disciples
Doubt and desperation of the father
Fear in the mind of the son
Prayer that is being misdirected.
So Jesus takes charge and cures the son, settles the father and astonishes the crowd.
In the father we see Jesus relieving the anxiety and fulfilling the need.
In the disciples we see Jesus recognising lack of faith, doubt and lack of reliance on the Grace of God and he points this out to them. When the father says “if you are able” he points out that “all things can be done for one who believes”.
As usual, the crowd are amazed.
Jesus isn’t suggesting that God will grant everything we ask for but if we listen to what Jesus has said and approach God prayerfully and with faith he will hear and provide an answer and that answer will give us strength to carry on.
Dear God, please give me faith and hope in times of uncertainty.
Help me to trust in Your plan for my life and to have faith that everything will work out;
Give me the strength and courage to face each day with positivity and determination, knowing that Your love and grace will carry me through. Amen