Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 7th Week in Ordinary Time – Monday – Mark 9:14-29
After coming down the mountain following the Transfiguration, Christ is confronted with a boy possessed by Satan and His disciples who lack faith. At the base of the mountain, a crowd is gathered around Christ’s disciples and are arguing; when they see Christ, they stop arguing and run to Him and are amazed at His shining countenance. A father tells Christ of his demon-possessed son’s torment which includes physical battering, paralysis, burns from falling in the fire and near drownings. The father is discouraged for the disciples have been unable to cast out the demon from the boy.
Finding that His disciples failed to cure the boy, Christ gives an angry rebuke: “O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you?” These are exceptionally strong words which condemn His own disciples who fail to fully believe. When brought to Christ, the demon reacts, dropping the boy to the ground in a fit of agitation. When the father is uncertain about Christ’s power, Christ rebukes and urges him to believe; the father cries out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” After Christ the demon out, the crowd believes the boy is dead; Christ raises the boy up and he is healed.
The disciples are perplexed as to why they were powerless to cast out the demon. Having already rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith (“O faithless generation…”), Christ reveals that to exorcise this type of demon requires fervent prayer and fasting.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ has supernatural awareness of the spiritual realm, including the unseen presence of demons. Divine King, Christ has absolute dominion over Creation, including Satan and every person; He is a tough leader who expresses His displeasure and rebukes His disciples for their mediocre faith. Divine Physician, full of Divine Mercy, Christ heals both the spiritual and physical maladies of suffering souls.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Every father knows the anguish seeing their child suffer; some know the grueling anguish of caring for a young child with chronic and incurable illness. Marvel at Christ’s mercy and His willingness to perform a miracle that eases the suffering of the boy and his father.
2) Despite the inhuman acts of evil which give ample evidence of the Evil One’s activity on Earth, many people reject the recognition of Satan as superstitious. Reflect on the Church’s teaching about Satan (CCC 391-395; 2850-2854) and pray for Christ to “deliver you from the Evil One.”
3) When the disciples falter in healing the demon-possessed boy, Christ rebukes them for their lack of faith and urges them to pray and fast. Reflect upon the need to persevere in prayer (CCC 2742-2745) and to fast (CCC 538,1434, 2043) and ask Christ to help you pray daily and fast regularly.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Souls in Purgatory
Virtue of the Day – Prudence
Corporal Work of Mercy – To give drink to the thirsty
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To instruct the ignorant