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MONDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT NOVEMBER 28, 2022





A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mt 8:5-11


When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully." He said to him, "I will come and cure him." The centurion said in reply, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, "Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven."


REFLECTION

"I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven."


In our many teachings in the PAPA spirituality, we have learned the "art of critical thinking". We can see some of it played out by the centurion.


PROBLEM: The centurion's problem is that his slave or servant is lying at home, paralyzed and suffering dreadfully.


QUESTION: The centurion must have asked himself whether to find Jesus and implore Him to cure His slave or send one of his men for this task. Why would Jesus cure the servant? He did not know the centurion nor was the centurion one of His disciples.


INFORMATION: With a man of his stature, the centurion certainly would have known what the Scribes and Pharisees were saying of Jesus. He also would have known that Jesus can cure because he had heard of it and most likely had seen the miracles. He knew of Jesus before seeking him.


INTERPRETATION: By his comment of, "only say the word and my servant will be healed" he knew, trusted and believed that Jesus did not have to be physically present for His Divine intervention.


ASSUMPTION: Did the centurion have any misconceptions or assumptions of Jesus. He did, in that he knew Jesus had the power and the authority to heal his servant. Unlike the Jewish religious leaders, he did not worry that it was the Sabbath or that Jesus had a reputation of eating with sinners, prostitutes or tax collectors. The centurion knew what he saw and did not have to worry about the man made rules imposed by the Jewish religious leaders on the people. There was no bias or prejudice in the conclusions of the centurion.


IDEA: He had an idea and stuck with it and did not sway under doubt, worries or what would people think.


POINT OF VIEW: The centurion knew of Jesus performing miracles. He had no doubt that from his perspective, he, too, would be blessed. After all, his slave was paralyzed and suffering dreadfully, and he knew by his question that the illness was not an obstacle for Jesus.


IMPLICATION: The centurion cared about his slave/servant. He was kind and caring. Everyone around him knew of his actions and nothing was going to change the centurion's mind.


CONSEQUENCE: The centurion acted in faith, believed, prayed his desires, his wishes and laid his request at the foot of Christ. He surrendered all to Him. God always gives us an answer that is for our good.


God's love is for everyone. We call to the Lord in our distress so He can set us free. The Church founded by Jesus is the gate of salvation open to all nations. It is not just for a few but for everyone. The centurion entered that gate of salvation and so can all who believe, follow the Will of God and repent of their sins.


"I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven."


God Bless You.



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