Read Deuteronomy 6:4-13, Ps. 18:2-4,47,51, Matthew 17:14-20

“Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ He said to them, ‘Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.’” (Matthew 17:19-20)

In today’s Gospel passage, the disciples of Jesus could not cast out a demon from a boy, and when Jesus came, he scolded them for having so little faith. Jesus said that if their faith were up to the size of a mustard seed, it would have been enough to cure the boy. What could be smaller than a mustard seed?

Jesus wants us to understand that there is nothing like small faith. It is either we have faith, or we don’t. If we believe something is possible, our faith can bring it to reality. It doesn’t matter how certain we are, but it will happen as long as we believe. Jesus is not recommending that we chew mustard seeds for miracles to happen.

However, if we don’t believe (if we continue to expect the worst possible outcome), we will be like the disciples, struggling, shouting and panting but making no progress. Jesus did not need to shout, dance, or jump up and down; He spoke with authority, and the demon obeyed. Before you start praying, ask: “Do I expect what I am about to ask God for?” If the honest answer is positive, go ahead to begin the prayer.

Jesus teaches that if your faith is as small as a mustard seed (if you have the tiniest atom of expectation), all you need to do is to speak, and mountains will begin to move for your sake. Our tongues have power, but only those who recognise it can use it. Be careful of your choice of words. You may have several challenges and difficulties, but always talk as a person of faith. Avoid the mistake of the Israelites who, while on their journey to the Promised Land, rebelled against God by their choice of words.

Words are powerful when we speak them, but they are even more powerful when we do not. In other words, the things we tell ourselves affect us tremendously, positively or negatively. A student who goes into the examination hall saying: “I will make it”, is likelier to do better than the one who says: “I can never pass this course.”

Do you desire the faith that can move mountains? Then change the tone of your self-talk. Speak positively to yourself even if you don’t believe what you are saying; keep saying beautiful things until you start believing them. Count your blessings. Celebrate your victories. Be grateful for little positive steps. Do not dwell on negativity.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, grant that my faith may be as big as the mustard seed. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saturday of week 18 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Deuteronomy 6:4-13, Ps. 18:2-4,47,51, Matthew 17:14-20).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu