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"Lectio divina is an authentic source of Christian spirituality recommended by our Rule. We therefore practice it every day, so that we may develop a deep and genuine love for it, and so that we may grow in the surpassing knowledge of Christ. In this way we shall put into practice the Apostle Paul’s commandment, which is mentioned in our Rule: “Let the sword of the spirit, the Word of God, live abundantly in your mouth and in your hearts; and whatever you must do, do it in the name of the Lord.”

 Carmelite Constitutions (No. 82)

Lectio Divina: Matthew 17, 14-20

Lectio Divina: 
Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ordinary Time

1) Prayer

Show us your continued kindness, Father,
and watch your people,
as we acknowledge your guide and your lead.
renews the work of your creation
and guard what you have renewed.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ ...

2) Reading

From the Gospel according to Matthew 17.14-20

At that time, when they came to the crowd a man approached, knelt down before Jesus, and said, "Lord, have pity on my son, for he is a lunatic and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him." Jesus said in reply, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him here to me." Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him, and from that hour the boy was cured. Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, "Why could we not drive it out?" He said to them, "Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, 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."

3) Reflection

• Context. Our passage has Jesus in his work of healing. After having stayed with the disciples alone in the region of Caesarea Philippi (16.13 to 28) Jesus climbs a high mountain and is transfigured before three disciples (from 17.1 to 10) and then reaches the crowd (17.14 - 21) attempts a new approach to Galilee to regain (7.22). What to think of these geographical shifts of Jesus? It is not excluded that they could have a value of geographical, but Matthew press submit their role of spiritual journey. In his journey of faith community is increasingly called upon to retrace that spiritual which marked the life of Jesus from Galilee of his public and that his resurrection by way of the cross. A spiritual journey in which the power of faith plays a crucial role.

• The power of faith. Jesus, after his transfiguration, with its small community of disciples returned from the crowd, before returning to Galilee (v. 22) and arrive in Capernaum (v.24). And while in the crowd a man approached him and begged him to urgently intervene in the evil that keeps his imprisoned son. The description preceding the intervention of Jesus really clear: this is a case of epilepsy with all its pathological consequences on the psychic level. At the time of Jesus, this type of illness was traced to evil forces and specifically the action of Satan, enemy of God and man, and therefore the origin of evil and all evil. Faced with such a situation arise in which evil forces far beyond human capabilities to the disciples find themselves powerless to heal the child (vv.16-19) and because of their lack of faith (V.20). For the evangelist, this young epileptic is a symbol of those who devalue the power of faith (V.20), not mindful of the presence of God in their midst (V.17). The presence of God in Jesus, Emmanuel, is not recognized, the fact understand something of Jesus is not enough, we need the true faith. After Jesus rebuked the crowd, you bring the boy: "Bring him here" (V.17), heals and frees it when rebuked the devil. Not simply the miracle of healing a single person "" you must also heal the weak and uncertain faith of the disciples. Jesus approaches them who are confused or dazed for their impotence: "Because we could not throw it out?" (V.20). Jesus' answer is clear: "For your wavering faith". Jesus calls for faith that can move mountains of his heart to identify with his person, his mission, his divine power. It is true that the disciples have left everything to follow Jesus but have failed to heal the epileptic boy because of "little faith." It is not lack of faith, only that it is weak, vacillating for sure, with a predominance of mistrust and doubt. It is a faith that is rooted entirely in relationship with Christ. Jesus goes beyond the language when he says: "if you have faith like a mustard seed" can move mountains, is an exhortation to be guided by the power of faith in action, which becomes especially strong in times of trial and suffering and attains maturity when no offense most of the scandal of the cross. Faith can do anything, provided waivers to rely on their human capacity, can move mountains. The disciples, the early community have experienced that unbelief can not be won by prayer and fasting, but you must join the death and resurrection of Jesus

4) Personal questions

• Through musical meditation we observed that the disciples are placed in relation to epileptic and Jesus himself. You also find your way relationship with Jesus and with others using the power of faith?

• On the cross Jesus gives witness to the Father and reveals completely. Jesus' words that you thought you asked the total membership: you feel every day committed to move the heart of the mountains that stand between your self-interest and the will of God?

5) Final Prayer

The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, stronghold in times of trouble. Those who honor your name trust in you; you never forsake those who seek you, LORD. (Psalm 9)

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As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister." 

 



date | by Dr. Radut