This blog provides a meditation on the Common Lectionary daily readings along with a headline from world news:
Spanish Supreme Justice accuses Chinese ex-president of genocide in Tibet
New English Translation (NET)
The Disciples’ Failure to Heal
14 When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, 15 and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, because he has seizures and suffers terribly, for he often falls into the fire and into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they were not able to heal him.” 17 Jesus answered, “You unbelieving and perverse generation! How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I endure you? Bring him here to me.” 18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of him, and the boy was healed from that moment. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why couldn’t we cast it out?” 20 He told them, “It was because of your little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; nothing will be impossible for you.”
This story comes immediately after Matthew’s account of Jesus’ transfiguration in which he was declared to be the son of God, the beloved, whose calling will take him through death to resurrection. When Jesus descends from the mountain of the revelation, he again encounters the crying need of humanity, in the father who pleads for his child’s health in the face of the inability of his disciples. This inability dismays and angers Jesus who thinks that what he can do, all people can do if they trust the desire of God to fight disease. There may have been conditions Jesus did not know how to heal; there’s no record of him mending a broken leg, or one of the bubonic types of plague. But he knew what he could heal, and he believed God was present in his act of healing. There is in Jesus’ anger, an anticipation of again “taking upon himself” the disease of the sick person, who must not be left to carry the illness alone. Jesus adds his own strength to tip the balance in the man’s favour. The Christian commitment to healing is founded on this rebellious compassion which will not accept the apparent victory of evil over good. Even a tiny amount of trust in the creator’s goodness will shift mountains.
Societies with health services that provide medical care free at the point of need share the mission of Jesus; the opponents of such care are in league with the devil.