DAILY GOSPEL COMMENTARY: THE CURING OF THE EPILECTIC BOY
Gospel of Saturday, 18th week in Ordinary Time, Year A (Mt 17:14–20)
A man came up to Jesus, knelt down before him, and said, “Lord, have pity on my son, who is a lunatic and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Jesus said in reply, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you?
Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him, and from that hour the boy was cured. Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, 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.”
Gospel Commentary from the Navarre Bible, Commentary to the Gospel of St. Matthew (with permission)
- 14-21 This episode of the curing of the boy shows both Christ’s omnipotence and the power of prayer full of faith.
- Because of his deep union with Christ, a Christian shares, through faith, in God’s own omnipotence, to such an extent that Jesus actually says on another occasion, “he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father” (Jn 14:12).
- Our Lord tells the Apostles that if they had faith they would be able to work miracles, to move mountains.
- “Moving mountains” was probably a proverbial saying. God would certainly let a believer move a mountain if that were necessary for his glory and for the edification of one’s neighbour; however, Christ’s promise is fulfilled everyday in a much more exalted way.
- Some Fathers of the Church (St Jerome, St Augustine) say that “a mountain is moved” every time someone is divinely aided to do something which exceeds man’s natural powers. This clearly happens in the work of our sanctification, which the Paraclete effects in our souls when we are docile to him and receive with faith and love the grace given us in the sacraments: we benefit from the sacraments to a greater or lesser decree depending on the dispositions with which we receive them. Sanctification is something much more sublime than moving mountains, and it is something which is happening every day in so many holy souls, even though most people do not notice it.
- The Apostles and many saints down the centuries have in fact worked amazing material miracles; but the greatest and most important miracles were, are and will be the miracles of souls dead through sin and ignorance being reborn and developing in the new life of the children of God.
- 20 Here and in the parable of Matthew 13:31-32 the main force of the comparison lies in the fact that a very small seed — the mustard seed — produces a large shrub up to three metres (ten feet) high: even a very small act of genuine faith can produce surprising results.
VIDEO COMMENTARY ON TODAY’S GOSPEL
Topic: Do you know that your childhood experiences may affect and determine the success of your love relationships?
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