Daily Reflection
February 19th, 2001
Pat Callone
Assistant to the President
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Sirach 1:1-10
Psalms 93:1, 1-2, 5
Mark 9:14-29

There are many places in the Gospels where one wishes there were a photo picture to accompany the word picture painted by the Gospel writer of a very significant happening.

Today I have just such a wish.  We have Peter, James, and John and some disciples watching Jesus cast out an unclean spirit from a little boy who has been possessed since childhood.

So many questions are here:  1) Why this story to teach what lesson?  2) Why this little boy with this unclean spirit?  3) Why couldn’t the disciples dispel the spirit?  4) Why is Jesus so upset? 

Each year, each of us moves through adulthood learning more and more lessons about what life and faith are really about.  Today, I see this Gospel incident in this way:

First picture:  Jesus, with Peter, James, and John, approach the disciples in a lively discussion with the scribes.  (Life questions being debated.)

Second scene:  Father of son says to Jesus: “Just now I asked your disciples to expel him (the unclean spirit), but they were unable to do so.” (Expectations not being fulfilled.)

Third picture:  Jesus is upset:  “What an unbelieving lot you are!…Bring him (the boy) to me.”  (He will solve the problem….but Jesus is disappointed in the disciples’ lack of faith.)

Fourth scene:  What can we learn?  “Why is it that we could not expel it?” asked the disciples.  He told them, “This kind you can drive out only by prayer.”

At every stage of our life we have life questions to face.  We expect others to have answers…but often they don’t. 

Many times I spend too much time searching for answers from others rather than going with faith directly to Jesus to ask for guidance in prayer.

Our society is in constant motion – giving us information at every second.  There isn’t much quiet time unless one plans it -- turns off the radio in the car, turns off the T.V. at home, etc.

Today, my prayer is:  “Lord, help me be in continual conversation with you.  Help me keep that conversation growing so that through our conversations, my faith becomes stronger and stronger.  Let my faith bring me to You first for answers to my many life questions.

Maybe this is your prayer too. 

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