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Saturday, August 11, 2001

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St. Clare

Deuteronomy 6:4-13
Psalm 18:2-4, 47, 51
Matthew 17:14-20

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faith matters

"The disciples approached Jesus at that point and asked Him privately, 'Why could we not expel it?' 'Because you have so little faith.' " —Matthew 17:19-20, our transl.

Jesus' disciples could have freed a family from a demon and misery — if the disciples had possessed greater faith. There may be many bad situations in our lives which could have been transformed years ago if we had faith, even the size of a mustard seed (Mt 17:20).

It is obviously wrong to tell others that they are sick or have problems because of their lack of faith. We cannot determine the degree of others' faith. Moreover, some of our sufferings are opportunities to enter into the mystery of Christ's cross (see Phil 3:10). These sufferings should not be removed, but embraced.

Nevertheless, it is true that faith and the lack of it make a great difference. Not all mountains of suffering are movable, but some are (Mt 17:20). Jesus often attributes healing to the faith of the sick person (see Mt 9:22) or of his friends (see Mt 9:2). We should be honest enough to cry out to the Lord: "I believe! Help my lack of faith!" (Mk 9:24, our transl)

Prayer:  Father, "increase our faith" (Lk 17:5).

Promise:  "Nothing would be impossible for you." —Mt 17:20

Praise:  St. Clare's faith was so strong she founded a religious order that eventually included her mother and two sisters as members of that community.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, February 13, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 20, 2001