I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Reflection for Monday February 20, Seventh Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 9:14-29

Gospel: Mark 9:14-29
As Jesus came down from the mountain with Peter, James, John and approached the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them. Immediately on seeing him, the whole crowd was utterly amazed. They ran up to him and greeted him. He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit. Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so.” He said to them in reply, “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him to me.” They brought the boy to him. And when he saw him, the spirit immediately threw the boy into convulsions. As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around and foam at the mouth. Then he questioned his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” He replied, “Since childhood. It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.” Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering, rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it, “Mute and deaf spirit, I command you: come out of him and never enter him again!” Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out. He became like a corpse, which caused many to say, “He is dead!” But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up. When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private, “Why could we not drive the spirit out?” He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”
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What is the root cause of unhealthy prayer life? It’s lack of faith!  

The disciples asked Jesus: “Why could we not drive the spirit out?” Jesus told them: “This kind can only come out through prayer.” Just like some of us the disciples obviously do not have a very healthy prayer life that’s why they were not able to drive out the unclean spirit that possessed the boy.

When there’s an unhealthy prayer life there is also a fading faith. Perhaps the disciples were already getting used of seeing Jesus doing miracles here and there every day.  

On the other hand the father has a very strong faith. Even if the disciples failed to help him he persisted and asked Jesus to heal his son and he was not disappointed. Is it then safe to say that the father of the boy has a healthy prayer life? Surely the father has a healthy prayer life!

The gospel invites us to examine the health of our prayer life maybe it’s unwell or fading like the disciples. How about our faith? If our faith is fading we have to nurture it by our pious presence at Holy Mass and by reading about the life of Jesus in the scriptures. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas 

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