“Because of your little faith.” If that was what Jesus said about his disciples, those men and women walking with him in person day after day, how much more does it apply to us today? How many situations absolutely confound us? How many injustices seem chronically irreparable? How many emotional crises seem insurmountable? There are demons of all shapes and sizes and types. How effective are we at casting out those demons of addiction, ignorance, or apathy? Why can’t we drive them out? Well, because of our little faith.
I always bristled a bit at the instruction at the end of today’s Gospel about moving a great mountain. I was pretty sure I’d never have faith that big, and even if I did, why would I want to move a mountain?! But we get all this wrong. It’s as if it depends on us, and it certainly does not. Are we convinced that God can move mountains, that he can drive out demons, that he can respond to addiction, ignorance and apathy? Well, sure. But that kind of believing has to get beyond just being in our heads and come out in our words and actions and living. That’s the hard part!
Because faith is useless if we never put it into practice. It might be tough to be in the midst of addiction, emotional crisis, or injustice, but that’s when we need to depend on our faith, because what else is there? What good is our faith unless it can lead us through hard times and accomplish great things in the midst of the messiness of life? Our faith tells us that whatever happens, God will never stop being with us.
So maybe we’ll never move a mountain. Who wants to anyway? But with faith we can certainly the mountains that confront us: emotional crises, addictions, sin, and all kinds of sadness. With faith, we can certainly move from a dark place to light, from despair to peace, from sadness to joy.