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Monday, February 23, 2009

St. Polycarp

Polycarp was bishop of Smyrna in 107, a leader of the early Christians and a disciple of the apostle John. He was also a friend of Ignatius of Antioch. Polycarp, like Ignatius, was martyred for his faith when he was eighty-six years old. He is one of the Fathers of the Church.

Today's Gospel has Jesus coming down from the mountain with Peter, James, and John. They found the other disciples with a large crowd and much commotion. They ran to Jesus who asked what they were arguing about and someone from the crowd told him: "Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit....I have asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so."

Jesus said to them: "O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him to me." To make a long Gospel short, I am skipping to the end when Jesus took the boy by the hand, raised him and he stood up. The disciples asked him in private, "Why could we not drive the spirit out? He said to them, "This kind can only come out through prayer."

I think that we need a great deal of prayer and faith to help others today. Let us ask Jesus to increase our faith and to help us to be people of prayer.

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