"Because of your little faith"
“Because of your little faith,” says the Lord in today’s Gospel (Matthew 17:14-20).
Ouch and double-ouch.
It is not enough that they failed, they are told that their faith is lacking too.
Sometimes you and I hear this in our own lives, when we tell a fellow believer of how things have gone wrong or of how we have prayed for something that did not happen and this fellow believer says, “Well, you just didn’t believe enough.”
There is, of course, a tremendous difference when our Lord says this.
Fellow believers can say “you didn’t believe enough” as a way to wash their hands of your spiritual or other problem and also as an excuse not to deal with the challenging spiritual issue of (apparently) unanswered prayer.
When our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ calls attention to our “little faith”, it is really an invitation to have greater faith, for He is the source of the grace by which we have faith.
This is made more explicit in the parallel to this Gospel (Mark 9:23-24):
Jesus said to him, "'If you can!'
Everything is possible to one who has faith."
Then the boy's father cried out,
"I do believe, help my unbelief!"
We believe, but we need to believe more.
We need always to ask the Lord in faith for ever more faith.