Daily Reflection for Monday, February 21, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Monday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: James 3:13-18
Responsorial: Psalm 19:8,9,10,15
Gospel: Mark 9:14-29
Our reflection on Monday’s readings:
This kind can only come out with prayer. Mark 9:29
“I do it!”, my strong-willed daughter used to shout when I offered some assistance with a difficult task. If I wasn’t in a hurry, I would let her keep trying on her own. Sometimes she was successful and sometimes, in frustration, she finally had to accept my help. The scripture above always used to confuse me. What was so difficult about this particular demon that it could resist the power that Jesus had given to the disciples? What did he mean that it could only come out through prayer? How else had the disciples been attempting to solve the problem?
I think that is the whole point. The disciples were amazed at the things they had been empowered to do when they were sent out two by two as the advance guard to announce the coming of the kingdom as Jesus traveled around the countryside. “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name,” they bragged to Jesus. (Luke 10:17) Maybe that power had gone to their heads. Jesus finds them in a bad situation, arguing with an angry mob. They have been trying on their own, maybe convinced of their own powers, to solve a problem that they do not have the strength and ability to fix.
Consider what James has to say in the first reading, “Wisdom of this kind (that is not humble, understanding its true source) does not come down from above.” In true wisdom there is humility. Humility because we learn that there are things we simply cannot accomplish on our own. We must plead for help from the God who loves us, begging for compassion and mercy as the desperate boy’s father does. And we must have faith that Jesus can and will work miracles for us in his own good time and for our benefit. It all begins with prayer and turning the work over to Jesus, humbly being led by God’s will and not our own selfish ambitions.
How often I do not trust Jesus to help me. I wait until I am at an impasse and the end of my strength before I remember to cry out, “I do believe! Help my unbelief, Lord!”