REFLECTION FOR TODAY
November 29, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” Mt. 8:8
Faith in God is something we should strive for as Christians. Today’s gospel reference contains words of faith spoken by the Roman centurion. What was is about the faith of the Roman Centurion that made Jesus to pay him a compliment. The one thing that stood out about him was that he demonstrated a faith based on trust in the person of Jesus.
The Roman Centurion, with no intellectual or doctrinal knowledge of Jesus sought a relationship with Jesus by reason that he believed Jesus had the authority to heal. The centurion loved the Jews and respected their religious customs. He knew that Jews incurred ritual uncleanness on entering the house of a pagan, and, wanting to spare Jesus this inconvenience, said he was unworthy to have Jesus come into his pagan house.
The Centurion loved his sick servant, trusted in Jesus’ power of healing, and was ready to face the ridicule of his fellow-centurions by pleading before a Jewish rabbi. When the centurion asked Jesus just to say the words or give the command as he did with his soldiers, so that the illness might leave his servant by the power of that order, he was expressing his faith and trust in Jesus.
As we begin the season of Advent, we have a very real opportunity to meet Jesus in prayer, scripture, and the Sacraments. Regular contact with Jesus like this can help us deepen our faith and develop a trusting relationship with Him. This Advent, we need to grow to the level of Faith of the centurion by knowing and personally experiencing Jesus in our lives. This growth can be achieved our daily meditation and reading of the Bible, by our daily personal and family prayers, by frequenting the Sacraments, especially the Eucharistic celebration and reconciliation.
Since Advent is a time when we ponder the great mystery of the Incarnation. It is a time when we especially ponder the mystery of God coming and dwelling with us in physical form. Though this happened over two thousand years ago, it continues to take place at every Mass. And at every Mass we are called to express the same faith as this Roman centurion.
Reflect, today, upon your faith in the coming of Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist. Each Mass is a manifestation of the God-man who came to live among us and live within us. If we but have the faith of this centurion, we, too, will be blessed by our God beyond measure.
Lord, I want to encounter You deeply this Advent, I want to move beyond the weaknesses of my faith to experience Your real and awesome presence. I do believe. Help my unbelief. Help me to see my unworthiness each time I prepare for Holy Communion. And in that humble admission, may I also invite Your healing presence in my life. Jesus, I trust in You.