Monday, 24th Week in Ordinary Time            

            Martin Luther said, “God our Father has made all things depend on faith so that whoever has faith will have everything, and whoever does not have faith will have nothing.”

            Today’s gospel story illustrates the faith of the centurion who approached Jesus to appeal in behalf of his servant. The centurion was a man of solid faith, reflecting a confidence in Jesus which was total and absolute. His attitude and behavior silently acknowledged Jesus’ authority over all aspects of human life.

            Confronted with the dire illness of a beloved servant, the centurion turned with calm assurance to Jesus. He did not become preoccupied with difficulties, upset by circumstances, or dominated by his emotions. Instead, he sought out the authority that rests in Jesus’ word as the clear solution to his person problem.

            The centurion did not feel it necessary to make his appeal to Jesus in person. To him, Jesus was a man whose authority extended beyond the mortal sphere. In view of this, and in true humility, the centurion considered himself unworthy to have Jesus enter his house. So highly did he esteem the power of Jesus that he required only a word to accomplish the favor he was seeking: “Only say the word and my servant will be healed.” The servant was healed – through the power of Jesus and the faith of the centurion.

            The prayer we say before Communion is based on his words: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” These words capture the essence of Christian faith: to believe in Jesus without seeing him… to affirm his power without his physical presence.

            There is one habit you can learn. Try saying, “Jesus, I trust in you,” in response to whatever happens to us. Think of who God IS in all his power and glory. Ponder also the depth and breadth of his love for you. Do you think God will fail you? This simple practice will help you see God in every situation – acknowledging his sovereign control over the universe.

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