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Monday, February 21, 2000

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St. Peter Damian

James 3:13-18
Psalm 19
Mark 9:14-29

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correcting the problem

"I have faith! Help my lack of faith!" —Mark 9:24, our transl.

A father had a very serious problem. For years, his son had been possessed by a "mute and deaf spirit" (Mk 9:25), who threw the son into convulsions in which he rolled on the ground, ground his teeth, foamed at the mouth, and became rigid (Mk 9:18, 20).

Jesus challenged the father to look at this situation in a new way. The father had been looking to others to rescue him and his son. Jesus challenged the father to take responsibility for the continuation of his problem. He challenged the father to accept correction, admit the weakness of his faith, and pray for greater faith (Mk 9:23-24). Jesus had just admonished the crowd for being "an unbelieving lot" (Mk 9:19). Later, He would correct the disciples for their lack of prayer (see Mk 9:29).

If you have problems,

  • take responsibility,
  • take correction from Jesus,
  • admit the weakness of your faith, and
  • pray for greater faith.

Prayer:  Father, help me see my problems in a new way — Your way.

Promise:  "The harvest of justice is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace." —Jas 3:18

Praise:  St. Peter wrote, "The way that God deals with men can only be praised. He lashes them in this life to shield them from the eternal lash in the next."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, July 28, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 1999