Today’s gospel we encounter Jesus healing a demon-possessed boy, a dramatic story of faith and the lack thereof. Jesus tells his hearers —including the boy’s father—that they could not do it “because of their little faith,” and that such demons can be cast out “only by prayer and fasting.” Do we have a dynamic life of prayer and fasting in our own lives? How do you evaluate your power to cast out demons? Is your life of faith capable to move mountains? Too often we come to the Lord to relieve us of some problem without first doing the hard work of prayer and fasting. It seems to be very true that the Lord wants us to work with Him in fighting evil.

The Lord has given us the tools to fight evil —natural and moral— and yet we neglect to take up the tools in the fight. It is time we build our relationship with the Lord in a serious way through prayer and fasting for our own happiness in this world and in the next.

“If they had had this faith within them, they would have been like the grain of mustard seed. By the power of the Word they would have thrown out this burden of sins and the heavy mass of their unbelief. They would have transferred it, like a mountain into the sea.” (St. Hilary of Poitiers)

Here are the resources for today’s Divine Liturgy of the 10th Sunday after Pentecost.