When Jesus entered Capernaum,
a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”
He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”
The centurion said in reply,
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant will be healed.
For I too am a man subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes;
and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes;
and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him,
“Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven.”
Happy New Year! We have begun the season of Advent, which begins the new year in the Church. Advent is a time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. It is a time of waiting, reflection, prayer and preparation. This waiting is not passive. It is a time of active anticipation, just like we await important guests in our home.
In today’s reading we hear the story of the centurion with great faith. He is a powerful man that has soldiers and slaves who obey what he says. But he is also a man of compassion and faith. Some people who have power and authority do not care about those who are less important. We see that with some celebrities and those who have money today. They feel that they can boss anyone around. Yet the centurion realized that he was helpless in this situation. He came to Jesus in humility. He knew that Jesus had something that he didn’t have.
Jesus, full of compassion, is ready to go right away to cure the servant. Yet in humility, the centurion says, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” The centurion had deep faith that Jesus could do something powerful. We use these words of the centurion at Mass when the priest elevates the consecrated Host and says, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” The Mass is full of Scripture. Do we believe that Jesus can do something powerful at Mass and in our own hearts?
Jesus was “amazed” by this man’s faith and humility. Jesus told His followers that no one among the chosen people of Israel had such faith. This element of faith is so important .
Do I have these attributes of Humility and Faith of the centurion? Am I HUMBLE enough to turn to the Lord in my time of need? Do I recognize that every good gift comes from the Lord, thus seeking Him for our every need? Can I admit that I can’t do this alone: that I need Jesus?
And do I have FAITH? Do I trust that the Lord can heal me or can perform miracles in the lives of those for whom I pray? Do I intercede for others trusting that the Lord hears my prayers? Do I believe that anything is possible with God?
Lord, help us to grow in faith and humility this Advent season so that our hearts are ready for your coming…
Have a blessed day!