AT THE FOOT OF THE MOUNTAIN they found the other disciples in the midst of a crowd, arguing with some Scribes.  The people were surprised, but ran to welcome Him, and Jesus said:

“What are you arguing about among yourselves?”

A man in the crowd answered that his son was possessed by an evil spirit which threw him into dangerous convulsions.  He said that he had brought the boy to be cured by His disciples, but that they could not cure him. Jesus said:

“O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you?  How long shall I put up with you?  Bring him to Me.”

When the boy was brought before Jesus, the evil spirit convulsed his body and he fell to the ground, foaming at the mouth.  Jesus asked his father:

“How long is it since this has come upon him?”

“From his infancy,” the father replied. He begged Jesus to help if He could, but Jesus said:

“If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him who believes. “

“I do believe,” cried the father. “Help my unbelief.”  Seeing a crowd was forming again, Jesus said:

“Thou deaf and dumb spirit, I command thee, go out of him and enter him no more.”

Then Jesus helped the boy to his feet and returned him to his father.

Later the disciples asked Him why they had been unable to cure the boy.  Jesus answered:

“Because of your little faith; for amen I say to you, if you have faith like a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain,  ‘Remove from here’; and it will remove.  And nothing will be impossible to you.  But this kind can only be cast out by prayer and fasting.”

And He said to His disciples:

“Store up these words in your minds:  the Son of Man is to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and having been killed, He will rise again on the third day.”

Matthew 17:14-21  |  Mark 9:14-31  |  Luke 9:37-45  |  Luke 17:5-10

Meditation:  This miracle teaches the power of and need for faith. But one remark of Christ underlies two other great needs in the spiritual life ­prayer and fasting. Prayer unites us to God; fasting or self-denial frees us from the fetters and power of uncontrolled passions. Without all three, faith, prayer, and self-denial, there is no genuine progress in the spiritual life. These three enable me to overcome diabolical power. Are all three an important part of my life?

Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today”  The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959.  113-114.   © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953.  Print.  Drawing by Albert H Winkler.

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