Today’s first reading is from the Book of Sirach. This is one of the books that you will find in a Catholic Bible, but not a Protestant one. I think it is one of the most beautiful books in all of Scripture. At the beginning of the book of Sirach, we read about Wisdom. There is a big difference between being smart and being wise. Smarts we can get from books and classrooms. But Wisdom is from the Lord. “He has poured her forth upon all his works…he has lavished her upon his friends.” Bottom line – become friends with God and you will receive Wisdom.
In our Gospel reading today from Mark 9, Jesus’ disciples try to remove an unclean spirit from a man’s son. They cannot. So the man comes to Jesus and asks him to do the job. Jesus tells him, “Everything is possible to one who has faith.” And the father says, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” What a paradoxical statement. And yet so true. The same is true for us.
We have faith. We profess our belief in Jesus, proclaim Him as Lord. And yet, something holds us back from believing completely. Sure, we don’t like to admit this. But if we believed completely, 100%, that Jesus can heal our every wound, take care of our every need, forgive our every sin; well, we would certainly be living differently. As it is, I think we’re probably doing the best we can. At least I hope I am. And so we echo the words of the father in today’s Gospel story…I do believe, help my unbelief!!
Father, thank you for the gift of our faith, weak though it may sometimes be. Pour out your Spirit upon us today, that we may truly believe. Amen.