Monday, November 28, 2016

Reflection: Matthew 8:5-11

Monday of the First Week of Advent - Matthew 8:5-11

Today we hear the account of the centurion who approached Jesus and asked him: “Sir, my servant is very ill.  He is paralyzed and suffering greatly.” Jesus immediately responded to the man’s pain and fear.  He said the centurion: “I will come and cure him.” However, instead of accepting Jesus’ offer, the man said: “I am not worthy to have you under my roof.  Simply say the word and my servant will get better.  I am a man under the authority of others.  If I have troops assigned to me.  If I dismiss one of my soldiers, he leaves.  If I command another soldier to come, the man comes.” This is how authority works.  

Jesus was astounded at this man’s faith!  Jesus said to his followers, “I assure you, never have I found such faith in Israel.”  He added: “Many will come from the east and the west and will find a place at the banquet in the kingdom of God.  However, the natural heirs of the kingdom will be driven out into the dark; and wailing and grinding of teeth will be heard.  Then Jesus turned to the centurion and said: “Go home.  It shall be done because you trusted”.  And at that very moment, the servant was healed.

Is your faith in Jesus as strong as the centurion’s was?  This man did not doubt that Jesus was able to heal his beloved servant.  When you pray to Jesus and ask him to help you, grace you, or heal you, do you trust and believe that Jesus will do so?  I suspect that many of us do not trust that Jesus will do as we ask.  This reaction may come from past requests when Jesus did not seem to “answer” our prayer or our request.  Yet, perhaps after a time, we may have realized that Jesus did answer our prayers;  however, in a way we never expected.

We human beings have a tendency to “box Jesus in.”  Often Jesus responds to us in a manner we wouldn't expect.  Our part is to pray to Jesus. . .and keep an open mind and an open heart.  Jesus will respond to us!  However, most likely it will not be in the way we expected.  Today I invite you to open your heart and mind.  Jesus is with you and He is working in your life!  Trust Him!  He will not disappoint!

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