Mark 9:14-29 Reflection – Rejecting Evil Requires Prayer

Mark 9:14-29 Reflection ~

Many would say that Jesus healed the boy’s epilepsy, hearing, and speaking, but believers know that the boy was also under spiritual attack. I have directly witnessed evil operating within otherwise intelligent, healthy people. So why couldn’t evil also be present in the boy without the parents’ consent? Jesus not only had to heal him physically, he had to force the worst kind of evil out, the kind that is not subtle, but publicly makes itself known. Rejecting the entire range of evil requires prayer and belief.

The Possessed Boy at the Foot of Mount Tabor James Tissot Brooklyn MuseumThe Possessed Boy at the Foot of Mount Tabor, James Tissot, Brooklyn Museum

Additional Ordinary Time Reflections

Mark 9 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

The Healing of a Boy with a Spirit

14 When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. 15 When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet him. 16 He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; 18 and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.” 19 He answered them, “You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.” 23 Jesus said to him, “If you are able!—All things can be done for the one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!” 26 After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand. 28 When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer.”

Thank you for meditating on this Gospel reading and considering this Mark 9:14-29 Reflection – Rejecting Evil Requires Prayer.