Monday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Courage and Humility: Two seemingly contradictory virtues we see exemplified in today’s gospel in the father of the boy who is possessed by the deaf and mute spirit.
Immediately following Jesus’ glorious transfiguration on the mountaintop, Peter, James, John, and Jesus descend to the valley, only to discover the other nine disciples bitterly arguing with the scribes of the law, after the repeated and failed attempts at exercising the demon.
With the boy falling to the ground in a violent seizure, Jesus makes no sudden move to assist; nor does the father. Jesus asks, seemingly unfeelingly: “How long has this been happening to him?” The father doesn’t cry aloud in anguish or beg Jesus to intervene in the moment, but calmly and courageously replies to the one he calls Teacher, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
“‘If you can!’”, Jesus almost mocks the statement, and then continues, “Everything is possible to one who has faith.”
Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”
In the most difficult areas of our lives –– what we fear the most, what he hide, what we avoid –– can we muster the courage to stand up in front of the crowds, or simply privately in our prayer, to ask Jesus for help? And do we have the humility to admit our weak Faith, and troubled Hope, and yet to ask anyway?
I do believe, Lord! Help my unbelief!