The season of Advent points to the coming of Jesus Christ not only at Christmas and/or his second coming, but also to our encounter with Jesus in his word and sacraments, and also that encounter with Jesus at the end of our individual lives. This calls for a deep faith in God.
Hence, as we begin this holy season of anticipation and preparation for the Lord’s coming, we are presented with the story of the centurion to learn from (Matthew 8:5-11). To this non-christian Roman soldier we owe a lot of gratitude for revealing to us what it means to have faith in the Almighty who “wield[s] authority over the nations” (Isaiah 2:4).
This officer of the Roman Army had made preparations on how to approach Jesus in anticipation of Jesus healing his servant. He did not allow pride, his status as an officer in the Roman Army, his money, his religion, or anything else for that matter to form a barrier to his reaching out to Jesus for help. He even expressed his confidence in Jesus’ ability to the help him even without Jesus seeing or having any physical contact with the ailing servant. This is faith expressed; to which Jesus declared: “I tell you solemnly, nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this.” (Matthew 8:10).
We too are encouraged to trust like the centurion in God’s ability to enter into our experiences without allowing doubt, pride, fear, our sinfulness, shame, or anything else to form barriers between us and God’s life giving graces.
Scripture Passages For Today: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 121(122):1-2,4-5,6-9; Psalm 79:4; Matthew 8:5-11
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And “You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us” – 2 Corinthians 9:11
Categories: Pithy Reflection