Meditation: Matthew 17:14-20

Meditation: Matthew 17:14-20

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, Religious (Optional Memorial)

Nothing will be impossible for you. (Matthew 17:20)

As we read Matthew’s Gospel, we realize that the apostles were a very special group of men. They must have been, to have such privileged access to Jesus. They witnessed him feeding five thousand people with almost nothing.

They saw him walk on water. They heard all of his teaching. Some of them even beheld his transfiguration. You would assume that they knew all his secrets by now—and yet they couldn’t heal this man’s son. What were they missing? Why couldn’t they muster up the faith Jesus expected from them?

To answer that question, we have to go out on a limb and state that not only did God become man, but he entrusted his mission to other men and women who were far from perfect. Unlike some supervisors we know, Jesus didn’t expect his apostles to do everything right the first time. He was perfectly content to let them make mistakes—and he did so for a reason. Unless he allowed them to stumble and fall, they would keep relying on themselves rather than his love and power.

Like the apostles, we have to learn about faith in the same way. It’s not a technique or something we receive automatically. It’s a process of falling in love with Jesus. The better we get to know him, the more we are willing to take risks for him. It will certainly mean failing at times, but we should never look at those failures as defeats. The mustard seed of faith won’t blossom overnight. It grows gradually as we continue to step out in trust and see where God takes us.

Peter himself tells us to add perseverance to our faith (2 Peter 1:6). If you are praying for someone, but nothing is happening, don’t stop! If you feel you are stuck in an area of sin and tired of seeing the same old habit return, don’t despair. Instead, persist until you see the victory God intends for you. He will give you a crown of righteousness, even if it happens one jewel at a time.

“Lord, help me let go of perfectionism. Let me be unafraid to believe in your promises and always willing to move forward in faith.”

Deuteronomy 6:4-13
Psalm 18:2-4, 47, 51

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