A Matter of Faith

Matthew 17: 14-20
Dt 6:4-13 / Ps 18:2-4,47,51

“O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you?”
(Matthew 17:17)

No mountain as an obstacle,
No power on earth is as great,
When we pray for God’s miracle
With a mustard-sized seed our faith.

When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt 17:14-20)

Reflection

If we have enough faith, no mountain is insurmountable. But if we lack faith, we can see mountains out of molehills. Daily we encounter ‘mountains’ in our life: financial problems, physical illness or disability, a failed business venture, a lost opportunity, a problem child, or a traffic accident. Most of the time, these ‘mountains’ may seem so steep and formidable, impossible to conquer. But our Lord Jesus is telling us that all we need is to have a little faith – not in our own capabilities – but in His power, and we can overcome what seems at first impossible. Faith in the power of God can make the impossible become doable.

Why did Jesus use a mustard seed as His example for the kind of faith that is enough to make a huge difference? For two reasons: 1) A mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds, yet when full grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches (Mt.13:32). Jesus likened the mustard seed to the kingdom of heaven in one of His parables. No matter how little our faith is, it will grow and eventually lead us to God’s kingdom.

More importantly, 2) Jesus is telling us that it is not the size of our faith that matters, but our belief – however small– in the compassion of God, for Whom nothing is impossible. By the power of our loving God, we can move the greatest mountain. St. Paul put it best: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13).

Thank You, Father for Your gift of faith, and for Your Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who showed us its power in Your Word. Amen.

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