The Boy with a Demon (Mk 9:14)
Come, Holy Spirit. Set me free from the Evil One.
Picture the boy’s father pleading with Jesus.
The disciples are going backward. Earlier, they had great success in driving out demons. Now, they are total failures. Jesus gets exasperated. The difficulty is their lack of faith. The boy’s father 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 down. My son foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. 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. He rolled about, and was foaming at the mouth. The father said, “If you can do anything, please have pity on us.” Jesus said, “If you can! 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 the reality and the power of the demonic world.
- Having tried everything without success, the father comes to Jesus.
- Jesus is upset that the apostles failed to drive out the demon.
- Jesus is also puzzled by the father not yet fully believing in his powers.
- Slowly, Jesus brings the father to full faith, “Help my unbelief.”
- Finally, Jesus drives out the demon who must surrender and leave. Although seemingly dead, the boy has been freed.
- This story symbolizes our own resurrection. Jesus will take our hand we will rise.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, I have many problems, so I come to you.
- Jesus, how slow I am to believe.
- My restlessness, my fears, my fruitless labors and my passions control me. I am not free.
- Cast them out, O Jesus. Rebuke them and make them leave.
- Jesus, even if I have experienced problems for years, you can overcome them.
- Take my hand! Lift me up! Even if I am dead, you will still say, “Arise.”
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ I will trust in Jesus’ power over the demonic, especially in Confession and Communion.
+ Today, I will have the faith of the boy’s father.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
I do believe. Help my unbelief. Everything is possible for him who believes.