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Monday, 24th February 2020

Gospel according to St. Mark 9:14-29

As Jesus came down from the mountain
with Peter, James, John
and approached the other disciples,
they saw a large crowd around them
and scribes arguing with them.
Immediately on seeing him,
the whole crowd was utterly amazed.
They ran up to him and greeted him.
He asked them,
“What are you arguing about with them?”
Someone from the crowd answered him,
“Teacher, I have brought to you my son
possessed by a mute spirit.
Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down;
he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth,
and becomes rigid.
I asked your disciples to drive it out,
but they were unable to do so.”
He said to them in reply,
“O faithless generation,
how long will I be with you?
How long will I endure you? Bring him to me.”
They brought the boy to him.
And when he saw him,
the spirit immediately threw the boy
into convulsions.
As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around
and foam at the mouth.
Then he questioned his father,
“How long has this been happening to him?”
He replied, “Since childhood.
It has often thrown him into fire
and into water to kill him.
But if you can do anything,
have compassion on us and help us.”
Jesus said to him,
“‘If you can!’ Everything is possible
to one who has faith.”
Then the boy’s father cried out,
“I do believe, help my unbelief!”
Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering,
rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it,
“Mute and deaf spirit, I command you:
come out of him and never enter him again!”
Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions,
it came out.
He became like a corpse,
which caused many to say, “He is dead!”
But Jesus took him by the hand,
raised him, and he stood up.
When he entered the house,
his disciples asked him in private,
“Why could we not drive the spirit out?”
He said to them,
“This kind can only come out through prayer.”

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Reflection

Verse 19 “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you?"

Jesus' words in verse 19 sum up his utter disappointment at the lack of faith of the crowds, including the father of the child who was possessed by a deaf and dumb spirit. Hebrews 11:6 says it is impossible to please God without Faith.

This faithless generation despite hearing Jesus and witnessing his several miracles and healings in the past had failed to believe Jesus and in his name cast the evil spirit out of the child. Jesus came to earth to restore mankind’s relationship with God and now was nearing his eminent passion, death and resurrection. He was expecting to raise up believers who would correctly represent him and carry out God’s purpose and plan in their life before he ascended to heaven.

The disciples of Jesus also failed to do the job on this occasion due to unbelief. They too inspite of casting out devils in the past with Jesus' delegated authority (Luke 10:19) also slipped into unbelief by focusing on the external and by being dominated by their five senses; thus they failed to do the job.

As we reflect on this verse, let us remind ourselves that unless we are rooted in the word on a daily basis and renew our mind each day with God’s word, we will never experience victory and an abundant life (John10:10). We must make a conscious effort to study God’s word daily and practice what we have learnt under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The more we take the Word in, more will the Holy Spirit direct us and enable us to fight the good fight of faith and experience victory (Romans 10:17).

Today let us not operate based on our senses but according to God’s word. When we fail to see God’s glory in our lives let us not blame God or anyone else but fully take responsibility by repenting and believing the Gospel. Victory is *Surely* assured.

God has blessed you to be a blessing.

Thanks to Vincent Lisboa for the Reflection
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