If you have faith that of a mustard seed

With just one word of command, Jesus rebukes the evil spirit that had caused this boy's affliction and tells the spirit to "never enter him again."
Jesus. Courtesy: Creative Commons

Saturday 18th Week in Ordinary Time (August 7, 2021)

Daily Readings: Deuteronomy 6:4-13 & Matthew 17:14-20

In the Gospel incident, the disciples of Jesus fail to heal an epileptic boy. We see at once Jesus' dismay with the disciples' lack of faith and His concern to meet the need of this troubled boy and his father. Jesus' response to the disciples seems stern, but it is really lightened with love and compassion. With just one word of command, Jesus rebukes the evil spirit that had caused this boy's affliction and tells the spirit to "never enter him again."

Jesus tells His disciples that they can "move mountains" if they have faith in God. The expression to "move mountains" was a common Jewish phrase for removing difficulties from the way. Jesus also makes a reference to the mustard seed – the smallest of all the seeds in Israel. He expects that their faith to be small, like that of a mustard seed.

With regards to faith, Jesus does not have high expectations from His apostles but that they have a faith that is rooted and grounded on God. Through the Apostles, Jesus invites each of us to become persons of faith.

When we pray with expectant faith, God will give us the means to overcome difficulties and obstacles. Let us respond to our trials and disappointments in an adequate manner by making a point of reference to Jesus. Fr. Joseph Cardozo SJ / Contributor

About the Author

Fr. Joseph Cardozo is a Jesuit priest pursuing a doctorate in Ignatian Spirituality at Jana Deepa Pontifical Institute, Pune, India. Fr. Cardozo has a master's degree in pastoral studies from Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines, and a master's in theology at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. Fr. Cardozo studied in the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College, USA.