Daily Reflection – 9/16/19
When Jesus had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, “He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person 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 at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.( Luke 7:1-10)
While a warrior in the service of Rome, this centurion was also a man of peace who had won the people’s esteem for he had contributed significantly to building the local synagogue: the house of prayer and of religious and human formation for the community.
Since he is a pagan, however, he feels unworthy even to present his petition personally to Jesus, and thus sends the elders of the Jews as intermediaries. His compassion, humility and obedience make him ready to receive Christ’s message.
The information he had certainly received is confirmed by Jesus’ action, and so he sends his friends with a message that is at once an act of humility, of faith and of revelation of Jesus’ greatness. His prayer is so beautiful that it deserves repeating again and again “ Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed”.
By his words the centurion shows he has understood that Jesus’ word is the true word of God, a powerful word, a healing word, a creating word.
Jesus himself acknowledges this insight, this clear vision, which betrays a faith that is much richer and more intense than all the others could even vaguely suspect.
The centurion’s faith also should remind us that our faith is a gift to God, because it is an entrusting of ourselves to him. Faith entails a twofold gift. Above all, it is a gift of God to man, a grace; but it is also our response to God, a giving of ourselves in a trusting openness:
We should ask our Lord for a simple heart that does not demand human certainty, a heart like that of the centurion in Capernaum. A heart that, because it is open to God’s love, is capable of dedicating itself generously to others with the certainty that faith brings and with the security that hope gives.
Prayer of The Day
Lord God, we turn to you in faith and in doubt, in joy and in anxiety, in hope and in fear, with boldness and with trepidation. No matter how we turn to you, we trust that you are there with us in every moment of every day. Heal our hearts so that we may always reflect you.
Jesus praised the centurion for his humility and trust and the recognition that he came from God. In order to believe, humility and simplicity of heart are of great importance, since it is in the heart that “we become open to truth and love, where we let them touch us and deeply transform us.” A pure and faithful heart is always humble because it recognizes that its origin is a gift from God.”