Breakfast With the Word Saturday 12th Week Ordinary Time of the Year B
Today’s gospel is one of those gospel readings that can have some inspiring impact on us. The Centurion exhibits those attitudes that gladden the heart of God especially, in the journey of our Christian faith.
He teaches us some Christian attitudes we have to imbibe in our relationship with God and our relationship with our fellow human being.
The Centurion also exhibits attitudes we can learn when we want to approach God. He also teaches us how to treat others who are below us.
When Jesus came to Capernaum, the centurion man approaches Him and pleads Him to heal His servant that is paralysed and in great pain.
Jesus replies to Him that He will come and cure him. Hence, the centurion man replies that He is not worthy to have Jesus under His roof, that only the word of Jesus is enough for His servant to have healing.
Jesus marvels at this kind of faith and says: ” Go home, and let you what you believe happen to you”. What the man did today amazes Jesus. They are:
Love of Neighbour.
In Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus replies to a Pharisee who came to ask him about the greatest commandment. Jesus tells him that one of the greatest commandments is to love your neighbour as you love yourself.
When we look at the request of the centurion, we will observe that he keeps to this.
He was not pleading on behalf of His wife, nor for Himself, nor either of His children. He is pleading on behalf of His servant. This kind of gesture is rare among prominent people.
This gesture shows the type of love the centurion has for a mere servant. How many of us can stand for the people who work for us?
Also how many of us can sacrifice our time and financial resources for the sake of a maid or servant?
How many can do that for the sake of that widow who is living beside you?
Can we sacrifice a little for the sake of that orphan who has been suffering for years asking you for help?
Can we bring out a little time to even pray for that sick man or woman who is living beside you?
Rather, what many do is to laugh at other people’s peril and suffering.
Today, instead of helping others, Christians seem to be more comfortable seeing others suffer and even make such a form of caricature.
If we want to live a life that can gladden the heart of God, let us learn from the centurion.
The Way We see God.
Because of the suffering and sorrows that we encounter daily, many have lost hope in God.
Many of us today see God as one who cannot answer prayers any longer. Many people are even angry with God.
But do you know that the way we see God can affect the effectiveness of the prayers that we say?
Hebrews 11:6 says that before we come in the presence of God, we must, first of all, believe that God exists and rewards those who seek Him earnestly.
Before the centurion decides to plead for healing, He has heard about Jesus and from what He heard, he believes that Jesus can heal. This is why He seeks only that He speaks.
On our own, despite that we go to church every day, sometimes we even feel that what we do is a waste of time.
The centurion teaches us today that before we go in God’s presence, we must accept that He can do what we want to ask Him to do and also despite however the situation may be, God can intervene at any time.
So, as disciples of the Lord, our truest objective is to live a life that will make God happy with us. We may be attending every liturgical and spiritual gathering but how we see the person we worship can either make Him happy or not.
The most important thing is how we see Jesus when we go in His presence?
Do we see Him as one who does not answer prayers? One who takes time to listen? One who is not real?
Sacrificing Anything to Be in His Presence.
In John 6:37, Jesus says “Anyone who comes to me, I will never reject, I will never send away”.
In the gospel, there is no single person ever recorded who came to His presence and plead for something worth pleading and goes home emptyhanded.
The centurion takes the pains and sacrifice to seek to be in the presence of Jesus. He may have other servants and would have sent any of them but He did not.
He sacrifices His time, His resources, His pride etc to come in God’s presence. This type of life gladdens the heart of God. God rewards every single effort that we make to come in His presence.
Hebrews 11, defines faith as the confidence of what we hope for and the assurance of what we do not see. It means that faith is an attitude of assurance of God’s love and mercy to answer our prayers before we even ask Him.
In verse 6, it says that without faith, it is impossible to please God. The Centurion had full assurance that Jesus has the power to heal that is why he came to Him in the first place.
Also, He has already believed in what was written in Matthew 4:4 that man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of God. This is the reason he asks Jesus to speak only. It is enough for him. What a man of faith.
He believes that every word that comes from Jesus is powerful. This type of attitude gladdens the heart of Jesus. In the bible, Jesus praises all who has faith. Such a type of virtue gladdens His heart. Therefore, we need to believe like the centurion.
Humility and Respect.
The Centurion is not only faithful but humble and respectful. Despite His position and wealth, He simply addressed Jesus as Lord. And the bible says “he was begging and appealing to Jesus”.
He did not speak like one who is already possessed by power. Finally, He sees Himself as one who is unworthy to receive Jesus into His home.
Many today who think they have risen to some particular positions create problems for some ministers working for them. Let us learn from the humility of this man.
How We see and Approach Jesus.
How we see Jesus, how we approach Him and how we respond to Him can amaze Him or not.
Jesus tells the Centurion, let what you believe, happen to you. We go to Church, we do spend time praying but sometimes how we think our Jesus is and what He does determines the effect of our prayers to Him.
Jesus is always amazed when He sees the magnitude of our faith and humility before Him. Always go to Jesus with strong faith that He is real and ready to listen to you.
Without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him, must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him. ( Heb 11:6).
May God bless you dearest and give you the grace to overcome all your challenges today Amen.