Thursday, October 1, 2015

Not My Faith Alone, But The Faith of Others

The seventh chapter of St. Mark, Verse 32, tells us that “they brought to [Jesus] a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay His hand upon him.” Backing up to Verse 26, we have a similar verse, a woman begging Jesus to cast a demon out of her daughter. Passages such as these should drastically motivate us to pray for one another. The deaf-mute was not healed by virtue of his faith, but by the faith of those who brought him. Well, someone might argue, just because he was a deaf-mute does not necessarily mean he had no faith; perhaps he was able to read and someone had written about Jesus and he had faith. I can’t see that occurring; however, let’s say it is possible. The girl in Verse 26 was demon possessed—no faith. Absolutely, she was healed on the faith of the mother. When Jesus heals, it connotes a forgiveness of sins. In the Mass, after the Lord’s Prayer, we pray, “….Look not on your sins, but on the faith of your Church…” This says we are a Body, a community, praying for each other.

Hear some words of wisdom from Holy Scripture: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, they are warm; but how can one be warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecc 4:9-12). God does not intend for us to make it alone; we depend upon one another. This is part of loving thy neighbor as thyself. This is one of the reasons we “pray” to Mary and the saints: that we may love God with all our mind, soul, and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves. This is why we ask each other to pray for us. We are a body, the Body of Christ, working together, loving one another. We can perish without the help of anyone else; but, if we desire to be like Christ, we must work together, loving one another.

When Jesus was going to heal the deaf-mute in Mark 7, He groaned. Why did He groan? He groaned because He was bearing the man’s sins, and the sins of the whole world. Jesus was wholly human; nevertheless, without personal sin of His own. Although He is Son of God, He is Man. For this reason, Jesus looks up to heaven and groaned. In like manner, the Catholic Church looks up to heaven and groans. Do not you and I also look up to heaven and groan? We bring each other to Jesus, just as these people brought others to Jesus.
--Tommy Turner