Monday, September 17, 2012

“I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer.”

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.  -Saint Augustine

(Gospel Text: LK 7:1-10)
When Jesus had finished all his words to the people,
he entered Capernaum.
A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die,
and he was valuable to him.
When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him,
asking him to come and save the life of his slave.
They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying,
"He deserves to have you do this for him,
for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us."
And Jesus went with them,
but when he was only a short distance from the house,
the centurion sent friends to tell him,
"Lord, do not trouble yourself,
for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.
Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you;
but say the word and let my servant be healed.
For I too am a person 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 at him
and, turning, said to the crowd following him,
"I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith."
When the messengers returned to the house,
they found the slave in good health.

Faith. -  I think we test our faith everyday.

We find it hard to have the faith of the centurion in today’s gospel, whose faith was so strong. The words he spoke 2000 years ago are still echoed today at every Mass: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul will be healed.” 

Speaking personally, I marvel at the faith of the centurion in today’s gospel passage and those early Christians who believed so strongly, to have such unwavering faith in the son of a simple carpenter.

There are times when we are tempted to think that Jesus is far away and not listening to our prayers. However, faith illumines our minds and hearts to believe that Jesus is always there to help us. In fact, the healing presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is a reminder that Jesus is always with us. St. Augustine, with eyes of faith, believed this reality: «What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the Body of Christ and the chalice is the Blood of Christ».

The centurion shows that faith is not just a matter of doctrine. There is faith-healing, faith-respecting, faith-loving, faith-living, and faith-giving. Faith is not a thing which occasionally affects our lives. Because faith is an assurance based on our personal relationship with Jesus (see Heb 11:1), it should pervade every aspect of our lives. Our lives are to become lives of faith in the Son of God, Who loved us and gave His life for us (Gal 2:20). Faith is a way of life. It is the atmosphere in which we think, act, react, work, feel, and live.

"All depends on faith" (Rm 4:16).

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