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.”(Matthew 8:5-11)
Advent is that time of year to help our faith progress; to remind ourselves that prestige, authority, health and wealth will never be enough to get us to the top of the Lord’s mountain. Holiness is not against any of these things; it is simply independent of all of these things.
But with God’s grace and my humility, all things are made possible: faith, hope and love are made possible. The Roman centurion possessed incredible faith and hope because he possessed incredible humility; Incredible, if you consider his position, authority, and power.
Authentic acts of humility are like tiny spaces and crevices in God’s mountain. These tiny openings, which appear to be useless to the untrained eye, are not. They are spiritual openings to God’s mercy and compassion, allowing grace to enter into our lives. They allow us to climb out of our pit and into God’s arms.
Is your faith in Jesus as strong as the centurion’s was? This man did not doubt that Jesus was able to heal his beloved servant. When you pray to Jesus and ask him to help you, grace you, or heal you, do you trust and believe that Jesus will do so? I suspect that many of us do not trust that Jesus will do as we ask. This reaction may come from past requests when Jesus did not seem to “answer” our prayer or our request. Yet, perhaps after a time, we may have realized that Jesus did answer our prayers; however, in a way we never expected.
We can only approach Jesus with a humble attitude, like that of the centurion. That way we can live the hope of Advent: the hope of salvation and life, of reconciliation and peace. Only he who acknowledges his poverty and realizes that the meaning of life is not to be found in himself, but in God, in turning his life over to Him, can really have hope. Let’s approach Christ confidently, and, at the same time, make the centurion’s prayer our own.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, increase my faith that, like the Centurion, I will always trust in you
We human beings have a tendency to “box Jesus in.” Often Jesus responds to us in a manner we wouldn’t expect. Our part is to pray to Jesus. . .and keep an open mind and an open heart. Jesus will respond to us! However, most likely it will not be in the way we expected. Today I invite you to open your heart and mind. Jesus is with you and He is working in your life! Trust Him! He will not disappoint!