Faith as a Mustard Seed

healdemonicboyToday, on the tenth Sunday of Matthew, we hear the account of the healing of an epileptic boy. This incident occurs just after the Transfiguration of the Lord on Mount Tabor, and is particularly concerned with the power of faith in our lives.

This boy is brought to Jesus by his father after the apostles had been unable to heal him. Jesus Christ rebukes them for their lack of faith and when they later ask Him why they had not been able to cast the demon out of the boy, He blames it on their lack of faith, declaring that, if we have faith like a mustard seed, we will be able to move mountains.

The image that Jesus evokes here is that of the contrast between a mustard seed and the mountain. The mustard seed is a tiny little seed, but Christ’s point is that even a tiny bit of faith, if it is genuine, can do great things.

We are sometimes inclined to think of faith in intellectual terms as assent to particular doctrines. But the faith that Christ speaks of here is far deeper than that. It is an attitude of total trust in the all-powerful goodness of God. It is the humility to place our whole lives and all our desires before God, trusting that He knows what is best for us.

If we have even a little of this sort of faith, new possibilities will open up for us and for those around us. It is this sort of faith that we see in the lives of the saints and it is such faith that was to enable the apostles to do such great and unexpected things.

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