Reading: If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes. Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! Mark 9:23-24.
Good morning, happy Monday, and many blessings my dear family.
In today’s reading (Mark 9:14-29), a man brought his son, who was possessed by a mute spirit, to Jesus. The man had asked Jesus’ disciples to drive the spirit out, but the men were unable to do so. When Jesus heard this, he said, “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you”? He then told the father to bring his son to Him. When the spirits saw Jesus, they immediately threw the boy into convulsions. The child fell to the ground, and he began to foam at the mouth. Jesus asked the father some questions about his son. Finally, the father said to Jesus: “If you can do anything, please have compassion on us. Please help him!”
Jesus quietly said to the father, “’If you can!’ Everything is possible to those who have faith.” The father immediately cried out: “I do believe; help my unbelief.” Much to the crowd’s amazement, Jesus drew the unclean spirit out of the boy and pulled the boy to his feet.
This is a consoling Gospel scene rooted in daily life: a suffering child, a concerned parent, an awe-struck crowd, a little group of faithful disciples, a number of their opponents. The father’s request to Jesus took the form of a tentative prayer. “If you are able to do anything have pity on us and help us”.
Pay attention of how the poor father’s cry, ‘I believe, help my unbelief’ is one of the best-loved human statements in the gospels. Does it express the reality of your own struggle to believe? It has been said humorously that most of us are atheists before breakfast, but perhaps we are half-atheists for most of the day? It is also said that most people live lives of quiet desperation. When you experience things getting beyond you, do as the father did and bring your problems to Jesus. Be honest with him; beg his help. You will, he promises, find rest for your aching heart.
This story in Mark is telling us very clearly that all we need to bring is the little faith that we have, with all its doubts and limitations. We are met by Jesus just where we are. I believe Lord, help my unbelief. What is the healing you desire? It may be for you, for someone you love, or it might be for our broken and hurting world. If you are uncertain that Jesus will answer your prayer, cry out to Him: “I do believe; help my unbelief!” It may be helpful to repeat this phrase throughout the day or even throughout the week. Trust Jesus!