Let sorrow speak – Monday, First week of Advent – Isaiah 4:2-6/ Matthew 8:5-11
I want to encourage you to jump right into this spiritual season of Advent. I fully get the excitement of Christmas which surely must have got hold of you by now; I understand that completely as I too am a ‘Christmas junkie.’ But there is something beautiful that this season of Advent offers us; a meditation on the need to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Lord.
We begin our reflection this advent season with a rank outsider whom Jesus praises as a model of faith. Why, we wonder is a rank outsider chosen as a model of faith? Do we not have a better example from ‘among us’ to be presented as a model of faith?
Here is a centurion, a gentile, a pagan, an oppressor of the Jewish nation, an enemy; the list could go on. Yet the season of advent kickstarts with a Roman centurion. Ironically, it was he who took the initiative to reach out to Jesus. He came to Jesus! Think about it; right now, you may feel like a rank outsider with regard to your faith. You may be a lapsed Catholic or a person whose sinful life has taken you to places you rather not mention. Think about it, a Roman centurion with men under his command took the first step to seek Christ; how difficult could it be for you and me?
Scripture tells us that the centurion came “appealing;” he was desperate, perhaps out of oxygen, his life being sucked out as he was gasping for breath, not knowing what to do, where to go. Yet the Gospel tells us that he knew whom to go to. He had heard of Jesus. But here lies the twist, he did not come for something he needed, he came for someone he loved. His servant, we are told was paralyzed and was distressed. He could not bear to see the one he loved suffer and so he let his sorrow speak to the Lord.
Today is a beautiful day to let sorrow speak; cry to the Lord for someone who is sick, someone you know who is paralyzed. Someone for whom you need to say to the Lord, “My friend, my mother, my neighbour is at home paralyzed and in terrible distress.” Do not let anything prevent you from turning to God, to ask him for help. The centurion did not care about the barriers of his rank or race; he knew that the one he loved, the one who had served him, needed his love at this moment. Not many people could amaze Jesus, but this man does by his love and by his faith
Jesus simply makes a commitment and not an explicit promise; “I will come and cure him.” This commitment had no time frame. Jesus promised us too that he will come again and it’s been 2022 years of waiting. Yet, Jesus’ commitment, while it seems so open ended has in fact a promise. “I will come.” “I will cure,” he said to the centurion. It’s not a, “let’s see” or “I am not sure,” or “I have to check my diary.” There is a deep abiding commitment that Jesus makes and he wants to make that same commitment to all the sick today; spiritually sick, emotionally sick, psychologically sick; “I will come and cure.”
If we but turn to him and like the centurion say the words we profess at Mass each day, “Lord, I am not worthy that YOU should enter under my roof, only say the WORD and my servant, my soul, my mother, my brother, my sister, my friend… will be healed.” The Centurion interceded with Jesus on behalf of his servant, not himself. Who do I want to intercede for today?
Click on this link for another reflection based on the reading of the Monday, 1st Week of advent https://www.pottypadre.com/you-rock/
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