Faith Daily | 29 November 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - ADVENT ONE
give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness
and put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life
in which your Son Jesus Christ came among us
in great humility,
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 8: 5-11
5When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him 6and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.” 7And he said to him, “I will come and cure him.” 8The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” 10When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Kay Murry
We've been seeing Jesus teaching powerfully; now we see his powerful healing.
Some of us might remember in earlier liturgies of the Eucharist, after the priest had said the words inviting everyone to take communion, they would say 'Lord, we are not worthy that you should come under our roof, but say the word only and we shall be healed'. So, even at the point of communion, so conscious of Jesus' real presence, we were reminded that faith in Jesus' healing and saving power was the most important truth to grasp.
This centurion was a powerful man, in charge of 100 soldiers, and pretty certainly a Gentile, but one sympathetic to the Jews. In his version of this story, Luke tells us some Jewish elders say "he is worthy of having you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us". And probably his empathy with the Jewish people and their customs made him tell Jesus he need not 'come under his roof' because he would know that entering the 'unclean' home of any Gentile, powerful and well regarded or not, would defile a Jew.
We know from verse 7 that Jesus had said 'I will come and cure him'. So it wasn't the centurion's consideration of Jesus' possible defilement (or even his reported generosity in building the synagogue!) that made the healing a certainty. It was, as Jesus says to the centurion, 'according to your faith'.
Even in the times when I don't feel worthy to be near Jesus, I can trust that, as the centurion had absolute confidence in Jesus' healing power, physically present or not, through Jesus, however distanced I feel, I am worthy of the Kingdom.
FINAL PRAYER: Beyond Mossman Bruce D Prewer
there are many cloudy days
when the mountain peak
they call 'The Good Shepherd'
is not visible.
Yet it is there,
day after day,
just the same.