Hab1:12-2:4; Ps 9:8-13; Mt 17:14-20
The one who sits upon his throne for judgment is the LORD. He sits in judgment upon the world, and he governs the peoples with irrefutable equity. The LORD views the world he has made with eyes undimmed and clear for discerning between the oppressor and the oppressed. He is the only stronghold in the times of distress. All who cherish his Name learn to trust in him at every moment. The LORD never forsakes those who seek him. From the depths of the human heart is heard a song of praise to the LORD enthroned in Zion. Indeed all the nations proclaim his mighty deeds of justice. For the avenger of blood is the LORD, he has remembered his children; he has not forgotten the cry of the poor. All, who admit their condition of poverty and need, find refuge in the LORD enthroned in glory. As the Prophet proclaims the eyes of the LORD are pure and the sight of misery the LORD cannot endure. Indeed, the LORD answers the cries of the poor. The loving father of a lunatic finds healing for his son from the Lord Jesus. He sees such faith in this loving father; this moves Christ’s heart to heal. We, too, come to this Eucharist with our mustard seed faith, and again the Lord’s heart is moved to heal us and those we carry in our hearts.
Habakkuk prays with faith, “Why, then, do you gaze on the faithless in silence while the wicked man devours one more just than himself?” This honest plea of the prophet breaks through the misery of those who suffer oppression and disaster. Those who have eyes of faith in every generation are able to look into the mystery of suffering and behold the promise of salvation. The LORD receives their prayer and promises his rescue. Habakkuk is commanded to write down, lest the people in their fear forget the mercy of the LORD. Write it clearly upon tablets so that any who suffer despair can read it readily. The pure vision of the LORD is not clouded by our fear, or our sins. Indeed, his promise presses on to fulfillment. He will not disappoint us. If it is delayed, we must wait for it. It will surely come, and it will not be too late. It will come when we need it the most. God’s timing is not our timing. We must have the integrity of our faith; any rash judgment will only lead to despair. By the gift of faith we will see the LORD’s mighty power to save us, and in the gift of faith we shall live.
The Lord Jesus beholds such great faith and love in the father of the lunatic who falls into fire and water, suffering severely. In his own pain this faith-filled man has already pleaded with the disciples of Christ, but they could not heal the lunatic. The Lord Jesus challenges the weak and weary disciples, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you?” The Lord Jesus knows that he is not long for this world. He knows that his disciples have so much to learn about faith and prayer. He is filled with pity for the suffering father and his lunatic son. He is filled with pity for his disciples. The Lord Jesus commands the demon to come out of the boy with a simple rebuke. The disciples were confident and trusting in the LORD so they asked, “Why could we not drive it out?” The Lord Jesus uses this teachable moment to summon his followers to trust in the gift they have been given. Even their mustard seed of faith can move mountains. Nothing is impossible for those who have faith and pray. We, too, continue to hear this divine instruction at every moment of prayer, in liturgy and in solitude. Soon the Lord’s vision of us will come to fulfillment. Soon, we too will move mountains of doubt and despair.