“If you have bitter jealous y in your hearts, do not boast.”
A reading from the Letter of Saint James (James 3:13-18)
Beloved: Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good life let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity. And the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 19:8.9.10. 15 (R. 9ab)
R/. The precepts of the Lord are right;
they gladder the heart.
The law of the Lord is perfect;
it revives the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are steadfast;
they give wisdom to the simple. R/.
The precepts of the Lord are right;
they gladden the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear;
it gives light to the eyes. R/.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
The judgements of the Lord are true;
they are, all of them, just. R/.
May the spoken words of my mouth,
the thoughts of my heart,
win favour in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer ! R/.
ALLELUIA 2 Timothy 1: 10
Alleluia. Our Saviour Christ Jesus abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel. Alleluia.
“I believe, help my unbelief.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 9: 14-29)
At that time: [When Jesus came down the mountain with Peter and James and John] and they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd about them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed, and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, “What are you discussing with them?” And one of the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a mute spirit; and wherever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him; and when the spirit saw him, immediately it convul9ed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has he had this?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “If you can! All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Sometimes in our lives, we find circumstances that seem insurmountable. Rather than becoming disturbed, dejected and defeated, we must learn to bring it to the master himself. The disciples encountered an evil they were unable to cast out. A type Jesus would later make them understand can only be driven out by prayer and fasting. Prayer helps us to assume a state of dependence and humility before God and not on our human ability or effort. Hence Jesus’ response that everything is possible to the man who has faith. If we are honest, our prayer in the face of our struggles and the grandeur of God would be Lord, I do have faith. Help my little faith!