Monday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time, February 24
Let Us Reach Out to Our Most Loving of All Fathers, Asking for The Gift of Wisdom and an Unfailing and Ever-Abiding Faith in The Infinite Goodness of God.
“I do believe, help my unbelief!” – words which we hear in today’s Gospel and which reflect the hearts of many of God’s faithful children today!
When I read the Gospel account of the young boy being healed of a rather severe demonic possession, I began to think about my own children and grandchildren, and the children of other families whom I know. In our world today, there are so many pressures placed upon our youth, pressures which we never had when we were their age. Oh, we had our moments! And there were times when we were punished for our misbehavior – but nothing like what we see today!
Drugs, pornography, immoral conduct – all sorts of evil – seem to be thrown at our children from so many different directions in today’s society! Our modern media and digital entertainment is permeated with violence, sex and a general lack of respect for any form of spiritual authority! We worry about our children and how we can help protect them from all the evil that exists around us.
I remember one conversation I had with a young mother a few years ago about her children. Two of them were daughters. They were young teenagers at the time, and, you know what I mean – “thirteen going on thirty-three”. One seemed like she was doing okay; the other, the younger one – the one who was thirteen, seemed to be weaker and felt the need to fit in with all her friends.
Their mother said to me, “I don’t know how to be the kind of parent I need to be to keep her out of trouble.” And I am sure her self-analytical comment expresses the fear that many parents have – how do we protect our children from a culture which is anything but holy and God-fearing?
The answer is not an easy one. We oftentimes end up relying on prayer and the love which we have for them – and we make a point of showing our love in so many different ways, including the good examples we set for them to see and from which they will prayerfully learn – and also believing with all our heart that there is a God who truly understands all that we are experiencing in life.
And yet, deep within ourselves – if we are open to admitting it – many still struggle with a certain lack of faith in our prayers being heard and answered, half-believing that the Divine Presence of God’s Merciful Love will watch over and protect our children, especially when we see our children and grandchildren wandering down a darkened path which deeply concerns us.
And it is this lack of faith which we find in today’s Gospel, expressed by the father of this young boy who needed help – “I do believe, help my unbelief!”
This was the first step in humility, admitting to the fact that he truly needed strengthening for himself and spiritual help for his son from someone whom he believed could provide the help for which he was crying out, even though he was still not aware of who this Jesus of Nazareth truly is. This boy’s father is not unlike many people today, reaching out for help when we come to the realization that we cannot handle many of the circumstances in our lives by ourselves.
We truly need God’s help in carrying the many crosses which we sometimes bear in this “vale of tears” – an expression which we pray in the prayer “Hail, Holy Queen” to our Blessed Mother, imploring Our Lady of the Rosary for her help through her prayers of intercession to her Divine Son, as we confront the many sorrows and concerns which we face almost daily in life!
And when the trials of our life beset us, as oftentimes they do, how often do we find ourselves like the disciples and the crowd of people we read about in today’s Gospel, short on faith and lacking in prayer? It is at times like these when we need to remind ourselves of the immensity of God’s Majesty and the Infinite Glory which is His, and that nothing is impossible for the God of creation!
In James Letter in our First Reading, he reminds us of the wonders which are from God. And he writes that the wisdom which comes from above is “…first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits.” And one of the good fruits which comes from this wisdom is humility, a humility which is pure and selfless in our thoughts, our words and deeds.
It is this humility which helps us to empty from ourselves our own ego, our own pride and selfishness. It is this form of humility which fosters a deeper relationship of love between ourselves and the God who loves us – the God who opens His Heart to us, especially when we are affected by the trials which we and our loved ones endure.
In The Divine Mercy of Almighty God, the prayer of a truly humbled and loving soul disarms the anger of our Heavenly Father and draws down an ocean of blessings upon us. It is only with a truly humbled heart that God’s Heart will be touched and moved by our prayers for our children and our loved ones.
And it is this humility which we find in the father’s agonizing heart in today’s Gospel, when he pleaded, “…help my unbelief!” – to which Jesus responded with the healing touch for his son which only God could give.
For all of us who are parents and grandparents, and for those of us who are yet to be parents or who are single and feeling the pressures of today’s society, let us open our hearts and our souls to the God of Limitless Mercy and Infinite Love, the God who truly understands the many concerns and agonies which fill our hearts.
Let us open ourselves to the power of prayer, as our Lord says to His disciples in today’s Reading, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”
There is great efficacy, great value in the prayer from a truly humble and pure heart, from a contrite and faith-filled soul for our loved ones, especially if they are stumbling along the darkened pathways of one’s life, for God will not turn a deaf ear to our pleas, but rather, with great Mercy, will attend to the salvation needed for our loved ones.
Our Lord says to each of us today, “Everything is possible to one who has faith.”
With the humility of a young child who has complete trust in his or her parents, let us reach out to our Most Loving of all Fathers with the words, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” – asking our Lord for the gift of wisdom and an unfailing and ever-abiding faith in the Infinite Goodness of Almighty God.
For those whose trust in God is great, there is no limit to His generosity! †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “Jesus said to him, ‘…Everything is possible to one who has faith.’ Then the boy’s father cried out, ‘I do believe, help my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:23b-24)
- “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.’” (Matthew 17:19-20)
- “Jesus said to [Martha], ‘Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?’” (John 11:40)
- “There is but one, wise and truly awe-inspiring, seated upon his throne…He has poured her forth [wisdom] upon all his works, upon every living thing according to his bounty; he has lavished her upon his friends.” (Sirach 1:6, 8)
- “…the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity.” (James 3:17)
- “I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk, give you counsel and watch over you.” (Psalm 32:8)
- “For the LORD gives wisdom, from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; He has counsel in store for the upright, he is the shield of those who walk honestly.” (Proverbs 2:6-7)
- “But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it.” (James 1:5)
- “We know that we belong to God, and the whole world is under the power of the evil one. We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment to know the one who is true. And we are in the one who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:19-20)
Prayer for the Day
“Heavenly Father of all mankind,
who has given unto my care children,
and committed them to my charge
to bring them up for You,
and to prepare them for everlasting life:
“Assist me with Your Heavenly grace,
that I may be able to fulfill
this most sacred duty and stewardship
of those whom I love and hold most dear.
“Teach me both what to give and what to withhold;
when to reprove and when to forbear;
make me gentle, yet firm; considerate and watchful;
deliver me equally from the weakness of indulgence,
and the excess of severity in the responsibilities given me.
“Grant that, both by word and example, I may be careful
to lead them in the ways of wisdom and true piety,
so that at last I may, with them, be admitted
to the incredible joys of our true home in Heaven,
in the company of all the blessed angels and saints. Amen.”Anonymous