In today’s Gospel from St. Matthew, Jesus’ disciples ask why he was able to drive out a demon when they could not do so. He replied, “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.”
This is a passage about which I’ve written before. My reaction to hearing this Gospel proclaimed one day that I attended Mass with my daughter some years ago played a significant role in my return to Christ.
When I sat with the passage last night, what popped into my head was a scene from the second Star Wars movie (Episode V, I believe). Luke Skywalker is training with Yoda on planet of Dagobah and Yoda instructs him to use his mental powers to free his ship from the bog. Luke says he will give it a try, to which Yoda replies, “No. Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.” Luke makes a valiant effort but fails, after which Yoda, seemingly with no effort, waves his finger, and the large ship lifts from the bog. When Luke shakes his head and says, “I don’t believe it,” Yoda’s response is, “That is why you fail.”
I think the faith Jesus is talking about here is the attitude with which Yoda approached the task of lifting the ship from the bog – a certainty that Luke’s efforts lacked.
As I reflected on the passage, I thought a good question to ask myself was: what are the things as to which I have that level of faith? There are certainly some. That God is within me and that I can never be separated from God. That whatever I experience God will help me make some sense of it (even things that seem incomprehensible when they are occurring). That whatever my failings and imperfections, God can use me to accomplish some good on God’s behalf. Of these things, and some others, I have faith that could lift a ship from a bog (or move a mountain). As to other matters…well…there are some things as to which I have less certitude and as to those I find myself saying, “I do believe, Lord. Help my unbelief.”
What are things as to which you have faith that could move mountains or lift shapeships?