Gospel Reflection Saturday 18th Week of Ordinary Time (12 August) – Faith small as a mustard seed
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (17: 14-20) in which Jesus says, ‘if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you’. In the gospel we hear today, Fr Paul notes that the disciples fail to successfully cure a man’s son because of their lack of faith. When we look at the father in this story he father shows a moving confidence in Jesus; he comes and falls on his knees and calls Jesus ‘Lord’, not merely ‘Teacher’ as he does in Mark and Luke’s Gospels. He adds the plea ‘have pity on my son’, implying that Jesus can exercise that uniquely divine gift of mercy. This contrasts with the rebuke of Jesus, ‘Faithless and perverse generation’ and his reproach then to the disciples for their ‘little faith’ and his emphatic teaching that even the smallest grain of faith will render them all-powerful. Much of the time most of us have that same sort of half-faith, we are eager to believe but not quite sure. So, for our reflection today, Fr Paul says, we need to remember that whatever we accomplish, it is God who makes it possible.