“The humble person is open to being corrected, whereas the arrogant is clearly closed to it. Proud people are supremely confident in their own opinions and insights. No one can admonish them successfully: not a peer, not a local superior, not even the pope himself. They know - and that is the end of the matter. Filled as they are with their own views, the arrogant lack the capacity to see another view.” - Fr Thomas Dubay, S.M.
Gospel Text: (MT 8:5-11)
When Jesus entered Capernaum,
a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”
He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”
The centurion said in reply,
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant will be healed.
For I too am a man 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 and said to those following him,
“Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven.”
Sometimes, it’s hard to have faith. We are rational, scientific, and want tangible proof or explanations for everything. But the centurion in today’s gospel reading was not like this - he had incredible faith.
Many of us, myself included, seem to think we know what we need but the fact of the matter is, we might not know what we really need, or when something should happen. We must have faith that Jesus has the right answers and the right timing. As scary as it is, we need to trust that our loving God will take care of us, because He knows what’s best for us. As the song lyric goes, some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.
After the centurion told Jesus about his ill servant, Jesus said that He would come and cure him. The centurion was humbled and said, “Lord, I am not worthy…but only say the word and my servant will be healed”. Catholics say similar words every Sunday before communion, but maybe we need to think about this more often. It’s so easy to become arrogant and think highly of ourselves, but we need to remember to humble ourselves in recognition of God. We are all sinners. We all fall down. We all struggle. Are we worthy of Someone so loving, so merciful, so awesome? Jesus thinks so. Even though we fall, we have a Father who loves us more than we can imagine. And he is calling us to put faith in Him. This is what the centurion did. He trusted that Jesus could heal his servant even though they weren’t even in the same room. He had faith. And look what happened: his servant was healed.
So today, we are called to humble ourselves and reflect on the faith we have in Jesus. Let's approach Christ confidently, and, at the same time, make the centurion's prayer our own.