The Boy with a Demon (Mt 17:14-20)
O Jesus, set me free from the Evil One.
Picture the boy’s father pleading with Jesus.
The disciples are regressing. Formerly, they had great success in driving out demons. Now, they are total failures. Jesus gets exasperated at their lack of faith. The father is different. He knows his faith is weak and says, “Help my unbelief.” That is enough for Jesus to act.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
When Jesus came down from the mountain, a man said, “Master, I have brought my son to you. He has a mute spirit who seizes him and throws him. My son foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and faints. I asked your disciples to cast him out but they could not.” Jesus said, “O unbelieving generation, how long must I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to me.”
When the mute spirit saw Jesus, he threw the boy on the ground and he rolled about, foaming at the mouth. The father said, if you can do anything, please have pity on us.” Jesus said, “Everything is possible to him who believes.” With tears, the father cried out, “I do believe Lord, help my unbelief.”
Seeing the crowd gathering, Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit saying, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you to leave him and never to enter him again.” Crying out, the spirit convulsed him and left. The boy became as one dead. But Jesus, taking him by the hand, lifted him up and he arose.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- The lengthy details show how real and powerful is the demonic world.
- Jesus is puzzled. People do not fully believe in his powers.
- Slowly, Jesus brings the father to faith, “Help my unbelief.”
- Finally, Jesus drives out the demon. Although seemingly dead, the boy is really free.
- This story symbolizes our own resurrection. Jesus will take our hand and we will rise.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, how slow I am to believe.
- Cast out my restlessness, my fears, and my uncontrolled passions.
- Cast them out, Jesus. Rebuke them and make them leave.
- Jesus, You can remove problems even if they are deeply buried.
- Take my hand! Lift me up!
- Even if I am dead in my sins, I will come to you. You will still say “Arise, and show yourself to the priest.”
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ I will trust in Jesus’ power over the demonic.
+ I will go to Confession, believing that all darkness and sin will be removed.
+ I will stay away from the occult and from Eastern religions.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
Everything is possible for him who believes.