We sometimes find ourselves helpless before a particular situation. Try as we might, the issue or problem is more than we can manage or deal with. That is the situation in which we find the disciples in today’s gospel reading.
A father brought his seriously ill boy to the disciples for them to heal him, but as the father says, ‘they were unable to cure him,’ even though Jesus had earlier given them the power to do so. Jesus succeeds where the disciples failed, curing the boy of his illness, which seems to have been a form of epilepsy.
When we find ourselves unable to deal with a situation, we can subsequently wonder why that was so. The disciples, likewise, approached Jesus and asked him, ‘Why were we unable’ to cure the boy? Another form of that question is, ‘Why was Jesus unable to work through his disciples on this occasion?’ What was in them that was blocking the Lord from working through them? The answer Jesus gave to that question was, ‘Because you have little faith.’ It wasn’t that they had no faith, but there wasn’t enough trust in their faith. They didn’t trust sufficiently that the Lord could work through them.
That is often the block in our own lives to the Lord working through us. We don’t have a faith that trusts the Lord enough to work through us when the situation seems beyond us. We don’t trust the Lord enough to move mountains, in the imagery of Jesus in the gospel reading. Saint Paul had the trusting faith that Jesus found lacking in his disciples, and that is why Paul could write that the Lord’s ‘power at work with us can accomplish abundantly far more than all we could ask or imagine’. We pray for something of that same trusting faith in our own lives this morning. Amen
Fr. John Peter