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The healing of a boy with a demon

Gospel Reading: Mt 17:14-20
A man came up to Jesus, knelt down before him, and said, “Lord, have pity on my son, for he is a lunatic and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Jesus said in reply, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him here to me.” Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him, and from that hour the boy was cured. Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Lord, have pity on my Son
This is man’s prayer to Jesus. The man is desperate. He has tried all remedies to help his son. He has approached many people, including Jesus’ disciples, but they have been powerless.

Jesus replies with a reproof for his disciples or perhaps for the other people who tried to help. He calls them a “faithless and perverse generation” (v 17). Failed attempts may be signs of absent or little faith.

Jesus rebukes the lunatic, and the devil comes out of the boy. Jesus then teaches the necessity of having faith, even just the size of a mustard seed, to be effective.

The healing story tells us that we cannot do much to help our neighbors in need if we have a wishy-washy faith.

Such faith cannot save anyone. Without strong faith, any attempt to help is an exercise of futility.

How do you avoid being numbered among the “faithless and perverse generation”?

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.