(Fourth Sunday of Lent- St. John Climacus, Mark 9:17-31)
A father brought his possessed son before Christ, so that the Lord could cure him.
Christ asked the desperate father if he really believed and the father replied:
“Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief!”
Along with the voice of that father, our voice is also turning to Christ today.
And even if we do not all have possessed children to take them to the Lord, there is something sick in everyone’s life -whether it is visible or not- and we call on Christ to heal this sickness.
This father who begs Christ and acknowledges Him as Lord could be everyone.
“Help thou mine unbelief!”
“Help me, in the moments when I say that I believe in You, while I feel uncomfortably alone, when I think I have no one on my side…”
And because I am alone, I close the doors and windows of my soul to Christ and my brothers. And as long as I am alone, I become – what they call- “sinful,” because in my loneliness, I fall victim to my own slavery.
Then, I think I’m superior to everyone.
Superior even to God… It is then that I cannot put up with anything.
“Help me, Lord, for then I show that I do not believe You for real. My despair is my unbelief.
Help me, when I see that there is no alternative around me, when everything seems to be a one-way street, when I think that I am unable to handle it.
I am unable, because I understand how limited I am.”
If we want proof, a walk in the cemetery will convince us…
“Help me, Lord, for I forget to trust, and since I do not trust, I am unbale to believe.
After all, aren’t faith and trust go along?
If I do not trust You, Christ, then how will I get to know You?”
The more time we spend alone, the easier we forget that we were clothed with Christ in the baptistery and that we find Him in the glass communion cup…
In order to find God, we must find our imperfections, not fear them, but entrust them to Christ.
How can we trust our imperfections without knowing them and without looking for them?
Christ has given us Confession, a great and sacred mystery. A mystery, not court!
Man meets Christ, face to face, in the stole of the spiritual father.
It needs humility, it is not something simple: true confession needs a struggle, first and foremost within us.
Let the hurt father of this gospel passage to speak to each of us.
Let’s ask Christ to enlighten us in order to see our own unbelief, our own imperfection, us being distant from Him: our sin. Let’s leave others’ sins and look at ours.
Let’s acknowledge our sin and confess it. Then we will have experienced the same spiritual struggle with the father from the Gospel.
Then, also, the only sure thing is that Christ will hear us and heal both our soul and body
… because we did trust Him, we had, what the Fathers call “a beginning of repentance.”
by Hieromonk Jason