Sirach 1: 1 – 10
Mark  9: 14 – 29


“Lord, I do have faith; help the little faith I have!”

Sometimes we have a difficulty that seems to beat all our attempts at finding a solution. We have tried every human means, and even turning to the Church too – there seems to be no solution!

The father of the boy has brought his son to the disciples. He has a spirit of dumbness that has afflicted him since childhood. In our terms we would say the boy is afflicted by epileptic fits. The disciples have tried to drive out the evil spirit to no avail.

Jesus shows his frustration. “You faithless generation !” he exclaims, “How much longer must I put up with you!”

But his mercy and compassion moves him to drive the evil spirit from the boy. Jesus later explains to his disciples – it is a question of faith and a question of prayer to God expressing our faith.

We can make the prayer of the father our own: “Lord, I do have faith. Help the little faith I have!” (Or as the old translation put it: – “Lord, I do believe; help thou my unbelief!”)

Faith can move mountains. Prayer, persistent prayer, is a measure of our faith in God. And . . . . we have to let God answer us in his own way too!

Pat McIndoe CP, a Passionist at St. Gabriel’s Retreat, Boroko, Port Moresby