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Homily (Reflection) for Monday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time (I) (20th February, 2017) on the Gospel
 

Sir 1:1-10;
Ps 92:1-2.5. (R. v.1);
Mk 9:14-29.
Topic: The only assured support.
In today’s gospel, Jesus came down from the mountain with Peter, James, and John after His transfiguration and saw His other disciples standing helplessly before an evil spirit. The spirit had often thrown the boy into the fire and into the water to destroy him. We recall that the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, cf. Jn 10:10. The boy’s father prayed like a man without faith: “but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.” Jesus replied, “If you are able! – All things can be done for the one who believes.” Realising his mistake the boy’s father cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And seeing the crowd that came running together, Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit in a unique way, “You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!” After the evil spirit had left, Jesus helped the boy whom the people thought was dead to stand on his feet.
The condition of the boy in today’s gospel as described by his father was truly a pathetic one. And the evil spirit would have remained in him because Jesus’ disciples could not rescue the situation.
Problems take people to different places even sometimes to the detriment of their faith. However, God assures us, “fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” (Is 41:10; cf. Jer 1:8). God keeps His promises forever, cf. 2Sam 22:31; Ps 18:30. And even when all those we trust in are as helpless as Jesus’ disciples in today’s gospel, God remains God with whom nothing is impossible, cf. Mt 19:26.
 Bible Reading: Is 41:1-13.
Thought for today: Our help is in the name of the LORD, cf. Ps 124:8.
Let us pray: Lord, we plead with you to increase our faith – Amen.

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