Feast of Saint Peter Damian
In the first reading from the letter of St. James there are some key take aways. 1) It is important to pray for wisdom daily as an important element in my life. 2) When we are in love with our ideas and in promoting ourselves, we will not be perceived as having wisdom. 3) Believers with true wisdom avoid envy and selfish ambition and focus on being persons of peace and love. 4) Wisdom from God is pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant full of mercy and good fruits”. (Seeking Our God: A Journey in Seeking Jesus James3:13-18 by taylor.matthew.n July 2, 2020?
How would you grade yourself in consistently living these four elements of living wisdom?
In the Gospel reading Jesus and his three disciples leave the Mount of Transfiguration and on the way down encounter an epileptic boy. The father is desperate because the child is now throwing himself in to fire and water. The disciples who did not go with Jesus, Peter, James and John are unable to exorcise the evil spirit and heal the boy. The father says to Jesus “…if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us. Jesus said to him, “ If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.” (Mark 9:22-23)
Examine the quote in italics and notice the use of the word “if” which showed the father’s doubt. How many times do we have those “if” moments doubting whether God will hear us and come through for us? Read the first italicized line again and this time strike the word ‘if”. It now reads “you can do anything.” Is our faith a “can do anything” faith with God’s power and grace. “Lord, I do believe, help my unbelief! Let me pray with courage, confidence and faith because “You can do anything.” (Living Faith, January, February, March 2022, Monday, February 21, 2022, Kathleen Swartz McQuaig)
Carl Middleton is a theologian/ethicist and a member of the Passionist Family.