Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
cripture: Lectionary 176. Isaiah 4:2-6 (A). Psalm 122: 1-9. Matthew
Jesus was surrounded by all sorts of people. This included Roman soldiers
who occupied his native land. We learn of one centurion who had charge of
one hundred soldiers who comes to him seeking help for his son or his
slave. The word in Greek can mean either son or slave. This Gentile
approaches Jesus and asks that Jesus cure his son. Somehow being a
well-informed foreigner and a smart commander he knew about Jesus and
believed in him as a healer. It was worth is effort to seek Jesus and ask
for this cure. We learn from the narrative Matthew gives us that this man
had a deep faith, a strong sense of who he was which is the essence of
humility, and a concern for another person who served him. He is a person
who speaks clearly and sincerely from the depths of his heart. We know his
plea, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you under my roof. Just say the word
and my servant (son, slave) will be healed."
Amazingly this expression is used before we receive our Lord Jesus Christ
in the Sacrament of the Eucharist at communion just after we have said the
Lord's Prayer and the priest has another prayer about removing all anxiety
from us. Our faith should at that time spring from our hearts while we say
the same words as the soldier who was helped by Jesus. Humility is
necessary for us too as we learn to accept who we are without murmurring
about it. Wholesomeness is part of humility; sincerity too.
Jesus too is amazed when he sees and hears the Roman requesting this favor
and expressing himself with such faith and trust in the Lord. Jesus does
heal the boy and by this event challenges us to have the same deep faith of
the heart that the centurion had. We then can find in our participation in
Communion a sign that the kingdom of God is already within us and among us
in one another as one bread and one body through the Body and Blood of the
Lord Jesus Christ. We are invited daily to the banquet of the Lord even
though we, too, are unworthy to have the Lord come into our hearts.
Fr. Stuhmueller says, " During this Advent season we are asked to learn,
humbly and gratefully, for the outsider how to live worthily inside the
holy temple of God." Amen.
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