Monday, February 21, 2011

Help My Unbelief

February 21, 2011
Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

All wisdom comes from the LORD and with him it remains forever. The sand of the seashore, the drops of rain, the days of eternity: who can number these? Heaven’s height, earth’s breadth, the depths of the abyss: who can explore these? Sirach 1:1-3

“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!” Mark 9:22b-24

Father, help us in our unbelief. We pray. We attend Mass. We are involved in social ministry. We study your word and works. Yet still, evil breaks into our hearts and we fail to love as you commanded. Jesus, help us to recognize that everything is possible if we but have faith. Holy Spirit, bring compassion on us and help us share that with each other. Amen.

Ben Sirach portrays true wisdom as God’s external revelation of Himself. Thus God is the creative-source of all wisdom, preserver of all wisdom and teacher of all wisdom in various ways. So we may learn of God by observing his creation – the drops of rain, the snow-capped mountaintops, the leaves on the trees, the blades of grass, the animals in the world, and each other. We also may learn of God’s existence by seeing how He works in the world.

During ancient Palestine, people could have direct observation of God’s work in the world by seeing what Jesus accomplished. We no longer can directly experience Jesus in the world. We have to allow Him to work through us or recognize his work in others thanks to the revelation of the Holy Spirit. The bridge between then and now is faith. As we are reminded in Hebrews, "Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

We strengthen our faith through the practices that bolster our piety. We strengthen our wisdom through practices that bolster our study. We strengthen our faith and wisdom by exercising these in the world. We are an example to others and they are an example to us. When we love, we spread love and block hatred as Jesus did when he cast out the spirit possessing the boy in today’s Gospel.

As you go through this week, observe all of God’s creation to see how His wisdom is shared with you every day through the people, places and things that you encounter.