Welcome back to Ordinary Time! Lent is a distant memory and the Easter season is done. For the next couple of weeks, we’re going to be going through the Book of Sirach for our first readings. This is a book that you won’t find in a Protestant bible unless it contains the Apochrypha, or deuterocanonical books. If you have never read through the Book of Sirach, you’re in for a treat! It is one of my favorite books in Scripture, filled with God’s wisdom. Let’s enjoy!
In our Gospel reading today from Mark 9, Jesus casts out a spirit from a young boy. The father comes to Jesus and Jesus tells him, “Everything is possible to the one who has faith.” At that the man cries out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” Words that we should echo every day. After Jesus casts the spirit out of the boy, His disciples ask, “Why could we not drive the spirit out?” Jesus replies, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”
We see two very important spiritual ingredients that are intrinsically intertwined, faith and prayer. As people of faith, we MUST be people of prayer. And when we pray, we MUST have faith. I imagine that the disciples tried everything they could to drive out that demon. Yelling, screaming, cajoling. But the demon would not budge. Only prayer would do the job. This, I believe, is true in our lives as well. When we come to God in prayer, with complete faith, watch how God’s power is unleashed!
Father, we believe. Help our unbelief. We bring you all of our prayers in faith. Amen.