Some say that Gospel of Mark is a Gospel of hope. In the gospel reading today, we could find Mark’s strongest statement of hope, “If you can! Everything is possible to one who has faith.” But wait a minute; this is a statement of faith, not hope. Look further in the response of the father of the boy who was possessed by a mute spirit, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” How could we say that Mark is talking about hope when the word “hope” is not found in the gospel?
Pope Benedict XVI in Spe Salvi made it clear that faith is hope. Hope is a key word in Biblical faith and in many passages the words “faith” and “hope” are interchangeable. Pope Benedict then relied on St. Thomas Aquinas to explain the relationship between faith and hope. St. Thomas explained faith is a habitus, that is, a stable disposition of the spirit, through which eternal life takes root in us and reason is led to consent to what it does not see (ST II-II Q4, Art.1). Thus, the relationship between faith to its unseen object is indicated by the words: Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for. Thus, according to the “substance”—there are already present in us the things that are hoped for, like the substance of “embryo” that will bring a hope of a flourishing life.
Enough about theology, let’s pause for a moment and talk to Jesus directly. How do you react to his words, “If you can! Everything is possible to one who has faith.”? Can you respond like the boy’s father does? Or maybe you want to ask for more evidence. Or you are angry with Jesus because you are tired of hoping for something? Perhaps your heart is weary because of your unbelief. Whatever it is you want to say to the Jesus, say to Him now.