May 20, 2013

The Gospel Today

Monday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Mk 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.”

Reflection (Sem. Jorge A. Santiago, Jr.)

When I was in my first year in formation in the seminary, I was assigned to make a video presentation consisting of different video clips. But my computer was slow enough not to be able to render it, nevertheless, what I planned was just to show the video presentation unrendered, besides I had no other choice but to present it. But minutes before the actual presentation, I saw error messages from my computer; showing the huge Xs on the screen which meant the video clips were overlapping with each other and, to my surprise, there were also clips that were turned upside down. I began to tremble and my sweat was brimming over my chin. How could I possibly show that unrendered video with those errors? I was so terrified and I did not know what to do. My name and my vocation were at stake, knowing that that program was only intended to see the video that I would present.

There was no time to edit the video presentation anymore because the program had already begun. I prayed so hard to the Lord for His help. I called His name intensely and I truly begged for a miracle. That was something beyond my control and I felt so helpless. And true enough, God was indeed generous; He showed me how powerful He was by sending His angel to fix the errors. I saw with my own eyes how the Xes were removed in the video time line and how the upside down videos returned to its original status. My eyes could not believe what I saw. I hurriedly went down to the projector and presented the video clip without any errors.

In our Gospel for today, we are called to believe in the power of God. Sometimes God tests us in order for us to be truly dependent on His providence. He sometimes lets us experience becoming helpless so that we can truly trust on His power. Just like the boy in the Gospel, who can only be healed through prayer, our experiences of distress, just like what has happened to me, can only be solved through prayer, which can only be achieved with great faith. What about you? What is your own miracle story?

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