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Monday, 30 October 2017 10:49

December 3, 2018 Featured

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Gospel: Mt 8:5-11
When Jesus entered Capernaum, an army captain approached him, to ask his help, ”Sir, my servant lies sick at home. He is paralyzed and suffers terribly.” Jesus said to him, ”I will come and heal him.” The captain answered, ”I am not worthy to have you under my roof. Just give an order and my boy will be healed. For I myself, a junior officer, give orders to my soldiers. And if I say to one, ‘Go!‘ he goes; and if I say to another, ‘Come!‘ he comes; and if I say to my servant, ‘Do this!‘ he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was astonished; and said to those who were following him, ”I tell you, I have not found such faith in Israel. I say to you, many will come from east and west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven.“

Reflections
The person asking for help is a centurion, a soldier and presumably not a Jew. Yet he has great faith in Jesus. He asks Jesus to cure a servant who has become paralyzed. Jesus immediately responds that he will go and cure him. ”No, no,” replies the centurion. ”I am not worthy that you should come to my house. Just say the word and my servant will be healed.” (Words very familiar to us in the prayer before communion.) Jesus is astonished at the faith of this pagan: ”Nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this!” The faith that Jesus expects is not an acceptance of doctrines and laws. It is rather a gesture of total trust and surrender by which people commit themselves to the power of God – in this case, the power of God in Jesus. Christ asks for this faith especially when he works his miracles, which are acts of mercy and signs of his mission and witnessing to the kingdom. Faith in Jesus is the first condition for healing to take place. For many of Jesus‘ hearers who could not see the presence of God in Jesus, lacking was the act of faith that puts God at the center of one‘s heart. Even the disciples were slow to believe. In the book, The Crucified God, Jurgens Moltmann writes: ”Our faith begins at the point where atheists suppose that it must end. Our faith begins with the bleakness and power which is the night of the cross, abandonment, temptation, and doubt about everything that exists! Our faith must be born where it is abandoned by all tangible reality; it must be born of nothingness, it must taste this nothingness and be given it to taste in a way no philosophy of nihilism can imagine.”

© Copyright Bible Diary 2018

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