“O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you?”

Picking up (Mk 9:14-29) where we left off Saturday, Jesus, Peter, James, and John come down from the mountain after the Transfiguration to meet up with the other disciples.  From afar they notice a tumult.  Upon reaching the scene a man implores Jesus to exorcise his long-suffering son since His disciples were unable to do so.  Jesus, exasperated by the lack of faith (see headline), drives the demon out and restores the boy to his father.  In the world today, it is difficult not to repeat Jesus words about a “faithless generation” that is hard for us to “endure.”  We can very much appreciate Jesus’ bemoaning the fact that, like the present day, many people in His time had lost their way.  In an age and society increasingly hostile to religion and its adherents, and morally bankrupt, we might be tempted to lose hope.  The remedy is not despair, but rather the third theological virtue after faith and hope: that is, love.  Jesus’ words to His disciples at the end of this passage should be taken to heart by us as well: When the disciples asked why they could not drive out the evil spirit, Jesus’ said, “This kind can only come out through prayer.” (v. 29)  Love of God and love of others prompts and drives prayer.  If all people of good will never cease to pray for a conversion  of our world and culture, regardless of how bleak it seems or becomes, Satan has no chance — the Lord guarantees it.

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