Sometimes one of the things that lead us far in life is not only the way we pray but the way we relate to God and Others. The way we relate to God and also the people around us are very important. This is a very important lesson we have to learn from the centurion today.
Sometimes what endears us so much to God is also the way we relate to Him and the way we relate to others. A good example is Abraham.
Abraham has strong faith in God and it was credited to Him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6, Galatians 3:6, Romans 4:3).
Yet despite His faith in God, God’s promise to Him to bear a son came at his old age came when Abraham showed love and hospitality to the strangers (Genesis 18:1-15).
Therefore, the way He related and cared for the strangers became an avenue for God’s Promise to him to bear a son was fulfilled.
We need to be careful about how we treat people who are under us and above us. Those who are under us need care, love and concern. While those above us need our respect and humility.
Many people today have lost great opportunities in life because of pride. Many of us would have been in certain positions if not for the way they behave.
Sometimes what has helped many in life is the way they humbled themselves. Sometimes what has been pulling people to grow in spirituality and otherwise, is the way they humbled themselves before God and allowed Him to take control of every situation.
The way we relate with God and others can save us from many mistakes and problems. It can be a great source of blessing and open doors.
Many family cases that we have today are because of the way we are relating to each other.
Many couples today who are living in crisis would not have been so, if not that they could not correct the way they relate with themselves.
Sometimes, when problems happen we blame one or two persons or we blame certain situations for our predicaments but sometimes when we critically look at it, we still observe that we are the cause of our problems.
Also today many people have lost faith in God. Some only come to church to show people that they truly belong but behind the scene, they have another thing they believe in. When predicaments come, they begin to blame God.
The way we relate to God and others is very important to our spiritual growth, eternity, and success in life.
It is the summary of the love of God and neighbour. In today’s gospel, the centurion teaches us the way to relate to God and others. He shows us the way to relate with our fellow human beings.
Jesus And The Centurion.
In the gospel today, immediately Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him and begged Him to heal His servant.
He said ‘Sir,’ ‘my servant is lying at home paralysed, and in great pain.’” Then Jesus answered Him ‘I will come myself and cure him. But the centurion tells Jesus that He is not worthy to have Him under His roof; What He needs is just the word.
He says “just give the word and my servant will be cured”. For I am under authority myself and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’
When Jesus heard this he was astonished and said to those following him, ‘I tell you solemnly, nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this.
The Attitude of the Centurion.
In today’s encounter with Jesus, we can see in the life of centurion how we should relate with people and with God. Let us explore some of them:
1. Show Love and Care to those Under You.
Sometimes when we see ourselves in top positions of authority we think that we are now the Creator of heaven and earth. Also when we have people who are under us, we begin to mistreat them and treat them as if they aren’t human beings.
When the centurion came to Jesus today, He did not beg for His son, He did not beg for His own blessing and healing. He was not seeking for His own favours and blessings, rather He travels under the sun to seek for the wellbeing of His servant, an ordinary servant. What a Love!
This man teaches us to remember that the people under us should be treated with care.
2. Always Show respect to Those Above You.
When the Centurion approaches Jesus today, He shows Jesus great respect. First, by taking the pains to meet Jesus. He is an officer, He would have given an order to let people inform Jesus to come.
Secondly, When he meets Jesus, the bible says that he was begging. He called Jesus “sir” which is a formal way to show respect to people.
When we are dealing with people above us, let us learn to be respectful. Do not show the other person that you are powerful, you can talk much, (anaghi ata nti gi ata) or you are the greatest. Sometimes the way we respect people can save us a lot.
3. Humility Pays.
To understand this, we have to know more about centurions. A Centurion is an army officer. They belong to the Roman empire.
The reason they are called centurions is that they command 100 men (Centuria = 100 in Latin). Remember that in the time of Jesus, the Jews were under the Romans, so this man is one of the officers who are in charge of the Roman army.
He can give commands, as he says in the gospel of today. He can assign responsibilities and give assignments to soldiers to obey. But today He shows great humility in the presence of the Lord.
When He came in the presence of Jesus, He reminded Jesus of His position but that despite this, He is not worthy to receive Jesus into his home. What a humble man!!
Many people would have used the opportunity of inviting Jesus to show off. But he remained humble.
This man teaches us that despite our positions in life, humility is indispensable. He also teaches us that when we come in the Presence of the Lord, we have to humble ourselves.
God loves the humble. God gives His grace to those who are humble before Him (Prov. 3:34 ). He gives grace to the humble (James 4:6-10). For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”(Luke 4:11) Humility brings honour (Proverbs 29:23).
4. God loves and cherishes our Faith.
When Jesus tells the centurion that He would come by Himself, the centurion showed great faith in the words of Jesus.
He says to Jesus “sir just give the word and my servant will be cured” How is He sure that when Jesus speaks great things can happen?
In this man, we see someone who believes strongly in the power of His word. Jesus was very happy today because of this.
Therefore, the centurion teaches us that God wants us to see us exercise our faith amid uncertain circumstances.
When you face problems, show more faith than worry. Secondly, this encounter today reveals how God loves and cherishes our faith.
Therefore, the way we relate to God must be accompanied by faith. Once we are dealing with God, show your faith always. Not showing faith means that we don’t even trust God in the first place.
Therefore, as we prepare to welcome Jesus through this advent, faith and humility are very important.
May God increase our Faith and give us the grace to live in humility, love and respect. May He never forsake you. Amen