Daily Reflection
August 11th, 2001
Andy Alexander, S.J.
University Ministry and the Collaborative Ministry Office
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Memorial of St. Clare
Deuteronomy 6:4-13
Psalms 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51
Matthew 17:14-20

Then Jesus reprimanded him, and the demon came out of him. That very moment the boy was cured. ...
"Why could we not expel it?" "Because you have so little trust," he told them. "I  assure you, if you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you would be able to say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move.   Nothing would be impossible for you."

Haven't we all had that feeling that "something has just come over me"?  Possibly, we've had the experience of things going really well, and we are sailing along in our everyday lives - while not being incredibly heroic and charitable, but certainly not being terribly selfish or sinful - and a "button" gets pushed, by someone or some event, and we turn negative, sour, dark, perhaps even nasty and vicious?  And, it may be that we can recognize the situation whereby we are pretty balanced and living a fairly integrated life - doing good and avoiding most evil - but there is this one area of our lives that is just really out of focus, or really inconsistent with the rest of our lives.  It might be a very long-standing bad habit, a pretty significant dishonesty, a stubborn refusal to surrender our pride and seek reconciliation, or an affair or unhealthy relationship, that seem to "possess" my otherwise balanced life.

Today it is consoling to think of two wonderful senarios. 

I can imagine Jesus being just as demanding, just as full of power-filled faith, in ordering these "deamons" out of my life.  I can even imagine myself being so encouraged, feeling so freed, that I'd join him in saying, "Yeah, get out of here!  I don't need you; I don't want you; I want you gone!  I believe, that with the power of Jesus, you are gone from my life!"  Today a mustard seed worth of faith believes that it is not impossible that mountains of this stuff could be moved.

I can imagine a dear friend, who is suffering from one of these things that seems to come over or possess him or her.  It is wonderful to image loving that person  enough to approach him or her and say, "This is not you.  This is not a good spirit.  This is not right for you.  It doesn't fit.  You deserve to be free of this stuff.  Tell it to leave you.  I want to join you in expelling it, in driving it out.  I want to be your loving friend, in supporting your faith in Jesus, who has so much more power than that stuff.  I want to support you in believing that nothing is impossible for you.  I want to support you in your vocation, your marriage, your commitments, your baptism." 

Today, it feels just wonderful to know that God's love for us is really un-conditional and so freeing.  And it is very consoling to think that we don't have to just live with some stuff that doesn't belong in our lives. 

"Oh Lord, renew, restore and refresh my faith in your power over the stuff before which I too often feel powerless."

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