Sunday, May 19, 2013

Everything is Possible to One Who Has Faith

Everything is Possible to One Who Has Faith

May 20, 2013
Monday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
All wisdom comes from the LORD and with him it remains forever, and is before all time 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?  Before all things else wisdom was created;
and prudent understanding, from eternity.
  Sirach 1:1-4
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!”  Matthew 9:21-24


God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.  Amen.
--Reinhold Niebuhr


It’s been 97 days since the celebrant donned green vestments to celebrate a Mass during “ordinary” time.  In the intervening weeks of Lent, Triduum and Easter, we have contemplated the end of the body of Christ and the beginning of the Body of Christ.  As we get back into the flow of these weeks, we start with a poetic reading from the Hebrew Bible composed by Ben Sirach. 
There was not much wisdom, or “serenity” or peace accompanying Jesus in today’s reading.  The boy was convulsing.  His father was obsessing.  The disciples were flailing. And even the Lord was impatient with his flippant rejoinder to their comment, “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.”
The Gospel of John equates the Lord with the Word.  Sirach attributes wisdom to the same heavenly origin.  Yet the brain and the heart remain different poles.  As we see in the Good News, when the disciples attempt to cure the possessed boy, their efforts are futile.  They think that they need ability.  They don’t yet know that they need only a foundation of faith.  Upon that cornerstone, they can perform all good works.


What battles are your head and heart having these days?  What do you think you can cure with Spock-ian logic when you only need Christ-ian faith?
Money problems?  Current bills vs. Futture Retirement vs. Charity?
Health problems?  Fitness challenges vs. Dieting vs. Recovery from illness?
Occupation?  Work vs. Prayer?
We think that these may be opposing forces.  However, what we really need to do is to balance our life in the world with our work to bring forth the Kingdom. 
To reconcile the wisdom we need to know the difference between when our faith is needed and when our work is required, we must strive to balance our life in piety, study and action.  Then, let the wisdom of the Lord guide our words and work, not our own.

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