CACINA

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on February 23, 2009

Gospel reading of the day:

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.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: “I do believe! Help my unbelief!” is a prayer that is useful to each of us. All of us sometimes get over our heads with situations which baffle us. Whenever things get beyond our abilities, like the possessed boy was for the disciples, we need to pray. When we ask for help in our unbelief, it results in more belief, in joy, and restoration. God will meet our need in God’s time. God’s ways are not predictable, but God answers prayers like, “Help my unbelief.”

Saint of the day: Born in about 69, Polycarp of Smyrna as an associate of, converted by, and a disciple of Beloved Disciple. He was a friend of Saint Ignatius of Antioch and fought Gnosticism. The bishop of Smyrna (modern Izmir, Turkey), he was a revered Christian leader during the first half of the second century. The Asia Minor Churches recognized Polycarp’s leadership. Only one of the many letters written by Polycarp has been preserved, the one he wrote to the Church of Philippi, Macedonia. At 86, Polycarp was to be burned alive in a stadium in Smyrna; the flames did not harm him and he was finally killed by a dagger, and his body burned. The Acts of Polycarp’s martyrdom are the earliest preserved, fully reliable account of a Christian martyr’s death. He died about 155 in Smyrna.

Spiritual reading of the day: I can testify that I may live without air and water, but not without God. You may pluck out my eye, but that cannot kill me. You may chop off my nose, but that cannot kill me. You blast my belief in God and then I am dead. (Mahatma Gandhi)

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