The first reading this weekend is taken from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (4:9-16). In this passage Paul contrasts, with biting irony, the humiliations and sufferings of the apostles with the smugness of the Corinthians who, in forming factions, make pretense of a spiritual superiority over their fellow Christians.
Every supernatural and natural quality by which they may be distinguished is God’s gift. The Corinthians have lost the sense of their own indigence and spiritual poverty that is the basic disposition of the true Christian. They behave as though they have already reached the summit of perfection and are reigning in the Kingdom of Heaven. The apostles, on the contrary, have been made a spectacle of all the universe, like the basest of men, criminals condemned to die in the games of the arena.
From biting sarcasm Paul turns to tender pleading. He spoke sharply to bring about the amendment of the faction-split community. A father has a duty to correct his children and Paul has a relationship to the Corinthians not shared by any other preacher. He has begotten them in Christ.
Our second reading, taken from Matthew’s Gospel, retells the story of Christ curing a possessed boy whom His apostles were unable to cure. It is important to note that the boy’s father first brought the child to the Lord’s Apostles, believing that they had the power to cure the boy.
After the Lord cures the boy, the apostles ask Him why they could not cure the boy. Jesus’ response was: “Because you have so little trust…. I assure you, if you had faith the size of a mustard seed…. Nothing would be impossible for you.”
Trust is the most important sentiment we must develop if we are to have a true relationship with God. We must trust that He will never do anything to hurt us or punish us and that He will always be there to help us go through the struggles of life.
How do I learn how to trust God? By refusing to think of Him as a God who is without compassion for me in my struggles – by refusing to believe that His love is conditional. Our God unconditionally loves us and there is nothing we can do that will change His unconditional love.