The Good News for the Day, August 12, 2017
Saturday of the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time (412)
A man came up to Jesus, knelt in front of him, and said, “Sir, have pity on my son; he acts crazy and suffers so much; regularly he falls into flames, and often into water. When I brought him to your disciples, they could not cure him.” Jesus responded, “What an inconstant, perverse generation, how long will I stay among you? How long will I endure you? Bring the boy to me here.” Jesus scolded the boy, and the demonic pressure left him; from that very moment, the boy was cured. Afterwards, His followers approached Jesus in private and said, “Why couldn’t we fix his problem?” Jesus said to them, “Because of your faith’s shortcoming. I will tell you the truth: if you have faith little as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will prove impossible for you.” (Matthew 17)
It seems impossible that “nothing is impossible.” This Gospel seems more the exaggerations of a politician than a saying from the normally practical Jesus. Granted it is about faith—and faith is immeasurable—but clearly the story is here to inspire us—an incident folded into history to provide good news for the humans who follow Jesus.
Faith for Jesus involves our Father—a sense that, no matter what our limitations or shortcomings—we can trust our Creator and Creative Father to fix situations like this—a kid tormented and uncontrollable, a boy unable to handle his body, a loving father driven to desperation.
You and I may lack the faith needed to fix a family problem—not so much the quantity of faith as the kind of faith, the quality of it, the nature of it. Faith grows or dies—and growth always implies incompleteness, unfinished-ness, and the possibility of a future faith THAT WILL do miracles. The prayerful thought that you do what we can—and maybe in God’s time—the miracle of change will happen. The Good News is the faith that your faith will grow. Admitting a lack of faith and our need—is the Good Start you and I need.