Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

February 21, 2011

Kevin Ryan

Freshman, Biology Major

Sir 1:1-10
Ps 93:1ab, 1cd-2, 5
Mk 9:14-29

“Jesus said to him, ‘If you can! Everything is possible to one who has faith.’” -Mark 9:23

In today’s Gospel, Jesus helps a young boy and his father by casting a demon out of the boy.  But in order to do so, he requires the father of the boy to have faith.  Only because of the father’s faith did Jesus help his son.  This story, to me, represents the struggles I have against my own personal demons.  I so often find myself going back to confession again and again with the same exact sins that I ask the Lord why he can’t just cure me and take my compulsion to sin away.  I know many who may be reading this can certainly relate. This reading holds the answer:  God allows us to live as we do with the constant temptation to sin because he wants us to work on our faith. 

But what does Jesus mean when he talks about faith in the Gospel?  I define faith as my acceptance of Jesus’ free gift of saving grace, offered to me by his death on the cross.  But accepting his gift requires both believing in his grace and living it as well.  What we believe should mirror how we live; that is what Jesus is trying to accomplish through letting us deal with our own sinful desires.  Through our struggle against sin, we learn that only through God can we become ideally human and truly “made in his image.”

Prayer is another aspect that is present in today’s Gospel, even if it is just barely mentioned.  At the very end of the reading, the disciples ask Jesus why they were unable to drive the demon out of the boy themselves. He replies, saying: “This kind can only come out through prayer.”  Prayer is very important in our pursuit of faith.  If faith is the acceptance of God’s saving grace through our belief and actions, then we need to have some form of relationship with God to fully understand what we believe and how we act.  Through prayer we can communicate directly with God, and he will always answer our prayers (although not always in the way we think we want or expect him to). 

So from all this we find faith has three aspects: belief, lifestyle, and prayer.  Our belief serves to inspire us, our lifestyle maintains us, and our prayer gives us direction.  If we have faith in our lives, anything is possible and God will steer us in the right direction. 

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