“O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly.” (Matthew 17:17-18)
The story contained in today’s Gospel passage is quite disheartening given that the disciples of Jesus attempted to cure a boy but could not. This happened while Jesus was up on the mountain of Transfiguration. Upon His return, Jesus did not hide His disappointment with his disciples meaning that He was expecting them to cure the demon-possessed boy.
As a disciple of Jesus or as a minister, do I realize the amount of expectation God places on me? For their inability to cast out the demon, Jesus called his disciples a faithless and perverse generation. I wonder what Jesus would say of our own generation today.
When the disciples asked Jesus privately why they couldn’t cure the boy, Jesus, who had earlier referred to them as “faithless and perverse” explained that it was due to their “little faith” which wasn’t up to the size of a mustard seed.
The question now is: “what is the size of my faith?” Do I strongly believe that if I pray for someone, he or she would get well? What are my expectations when I lay my hands on the sick to pray? Dear friends, it is not enough to say: “I believe.” Your internal disposition must match your words. Little faith is equal to no-faith.
As the prophet Habakkuk insinuates in our first reading today, our obedience to God’s commandments is itself an expression of our faith. A lot of us Christians claim to believe in God but we do not believe God’s commandments apply to our lives; we behave as though God is far away and does not see what we are doing as such, even when we pray, we still have this feeling that God is far away and does not care to listen. We rise from prayer not expecting what we have asked for because our faith is not even up to that of the mustard seed.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, increase my faith; make me conscious of your presence around me always and the infinite power you have put in my hands. Amen.
Bible Study: Habakkuk 1:12-2:4 Psalm 9:8-13, Matthew 17:14-20).