“Gospel Decades-Mark 9:14-29”
©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS
(Mark 9:14-29 / Jesus Heals A Boy with an Evil Spirit)
“And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd about them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed, and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, "What are you discussing with them?" And one of the crowd answered him, "Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a dumb spirit; and wherever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able." And he answered them, "O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me." And they brought the boy to him; and when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, "How long has he had this?" And he said, "From childhood. And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us." And Jesus said to him, "If you can! All things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!" And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again." And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, "He is dead." But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" And he said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
Pray -1 Our Father -10 Hail Mary’s -Glory be… - Oh My Jesus…
Reflection: My Friends,
This is our Lord's very first miracle after He was seen by Peter, James and John at the Transfiguration. The connection is that God brought Heaven down to comfort His Son in the Transfiguration; and so Jesus was brought down to this distressed father to heal his son. I don't think that was too far a stretch to connect. This healing is very powerful, many people witnessed this, and many people knew this man and his son. Today's gospel is Mark 9:14-29 (Jesus Heals Possessed Boy). Let us see who was involved in this miraculous healing, the very distressed father, the young demonically possessed boy, Jesus, and a couple of disciples who couldn't heal the boy. That's a rather interesting group of people all together. But that list doesn't mean anything but the fact that there was going to be a blessing. How do I know that? Because Jesus is in their midst.
Kudos and a high five to this very distressed father, a true man of honor, one whose heart is for Jesus no doubt. Picture the scene: This dad sees Jesus, knows who He is, rushes over to Him on behalf of his son, most likely knelt or bowed down to Jesus (he did call him Teacher which means Rabbi), he asked for a healing for his son, but I'd say he may have been begging, knowing the disciples couldn't heal him, figuring maybe his son couldn't be healed. This man was brought humbly to his knees before a large crowd of people. An absolutely moving scene to have witnessed. This father’s love for his son shines brightly in today's scripture. There was no medication back then for epilepsy, my grandma, my mother's mom had epilepsy. From when I was a little kid I'd see her have seizures, fall on the floor and lay there for a while. My grandpa, bless his soul, really loved grandma. As soon as he knew she was going into a seizure, he'd hold her tight, now my grandma was small; but when under an epileptic seizure she gained much strength, so holding her was a challenge even for my grandpa who was a navy boxer. But he'd hold her and say, "Susan, Susan, look at me, relax, relax." Then he made sure she didn't swallow her tongue. Pretty dramatic scene, but normal to me seeing it all my life. So I can relate to some degree with what this dad had to contend with.
Now I think of this poor young boy who is suffering with this condition which was apparently being caused by a demon. He had to be considered strange, weird and different, probably even called all sorts of names growing up, like lunatic, crazy. When people don't understand things and they seem shocked, we tend to consider it out of the norm and we don't accept it. Plus think about the way the other kids probably treated him, kids can be even crueler than adults. This child must have been living a lonely, sad life, breaking his heart day in and day out, probably with virtually any friends in his life. This would really affect a dad or mom seeing this every day, further explaining the dads anguish of stress begging Jesus on his son’s behalf for a healing. All of us can relate to these things, either being the one undergoing suffering from possibly an illness or we are closely related to one who suffers daily. This miracle scripture today shows us how God does intervene when we know we can't fix it, when we know our hopes seems to be shattered. This story tells us not to ever give up hope for a healing.
Today this father succeeded in his plea to Jesus to save his son. Let us never lose hope that we can't have the same healing. Be brave and bold like this father was. Let the love you have for another combine with the love you have for Jesus, and as soon as you possibly can, unite the two together. And pray and pray and pray, asking for God's mercy. And then trust and trust and trust that in His time you will be healed and blessed in accord to His will. Pray this simple prayer if you need help in starting this quest of prayer and trust.
Pondering these thoughts today: Even though Jesus rebuked the evil Spirit, and the man feel to the ground; it wasn’t the man who was in anguish, it was the devil who was suffering. Jesus punished the evil spirits within the man, the captive within was punished for what he had done to this young man. We must trust fully in His love and His mercy.
“My Lord Jesus, please help my unbelief. I know sometimes it seems like I have doubt in You Lord, but I don't. I think that's the human fear that is within me at times. My heart knows You, and my Spirit is alive inside, and it’s all about me desiring to get closer to You. Also know my Lord, I place all my trust in You, You alone I give my full trust and allegiance to every single blessed day You allow me to walk the earth. Thank You for everything, I love You with all my heart Lord. Amen.”
Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS
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