For Saturday of the Eighteenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year
What we witness in the Gospel today happens right after— back-to-back with— the Transfiguration of the Lord.
In the Lord’s Transfiguration, his face, his body and his handmade clothes shine with the glory of heaven.
Today, in contrast to his own TRANS-figured appearance, the Lord meets a boy whose life is DIS-figured by a demon.
In the Lord’s Transfiguration, the voice of heaven says of Christ, “This is my Son— listen to him.”
Today, the father of the afflicted boy says to Christ, “Here is my son— have mercy on us!”
In the Transfiguration of the Lord, Christ reveals his glory on a mountain.
Today, below that same mountain, the faith-filled plea of a grieved father moves mountains so that Christ again reveals his glory for the sake of that man’s afflicted son.
In the Lord’s Transfiguration, the heavenly Father declares that Christ is his beloved Son with whom he is well pleased.
Today in contrast, Christ gives vent to strong displeasure at his timid, doubt-filled disciples.
O faithless and perverse generation,
how long will I be with you?
How long will I endure you?
When the disciples ask him why they themselves are unable to throw out the demon, Christ answers them.
Because of your little faith.
Amen, I say to you,
[if you have faith like this boy’s father]
if you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you will say to this mountain,
“Move from here to there,”
and it will move.
Nothing will be impossible for you.
Just a mustard seed’s worth of faith for a whole mountain of transfiguration and glory!
The father of the boy in the Gospel today is a model of faith for us.
Everything that is in us needs to learn to go to Christ and kneel down in faith before him as the boy’s father did.
Everything that is in us, everything that we are:
the choices we make, the way we live in and with our bodies;
the way we experience and cultivate our emotions;
the disciplines we apply in our intellectual life.
Everything that is in us and everything that we are needs to kneel down before Christ.
Our adoring faith needs to cry out in us, “Lord, have mercy on us, and help us for we are lacking in faith!”
Then the mountain of the Lord’s glory can move for us.
He will reveal himself in us, shining like the sun.
One day he really will.
That is God’s plan from the very beginning, since he made us in his own image.
Christ is the fullness and the fulfillment of that image.
Let us exert our faith in the worship of him through all the details of our lives, and ask him to reveal his mercy and glory that he gives us in his Eucharist.