This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Monday of the Twenty-Fourth Week In Ordinary Time
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A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave.
Faith in God. As was very common in those days, having a slave meant more than just having a servant; it often meant having a friend, even a son.
Apparently, this centurion was a close friend of the Jews. We know that he had a synagogue built for them. What is unclear is if he himself converted to Judaism. Regardless, the Jewish community appreciated him and were willing to go to bat for him.
When the centurion heard that Jesus was in town, he sent elders of the Jews to him to ask him to save his slave’s life. What faith! What humble faith! Think about it: a Roman soldier begged a group of Jews to help him. Actually, he asked the Jewish God to help him.
What is the purpose of faith in God? Why is it so important? Based on what I have experienced and seen, the purpose of faith is to live life better; that is, to get the most out of life. It means to seek the Lord in our life: in our thoughts, words, decisions and actions. It means to continually strive to be more like Him.
Let’s face it. The Lord went against the current. He was countercultural. He was a rebel. He loved to shock His opponents and surprise His friends. He reached out to where no one had reached before. He spoke to women. He spoke to prisoners. He touched lepers and went to the homes of sinners. He invited tax collectors to follow Him and accepted former prostitutes as disciples. He loved His enemies and called them his friends. He told his Apostles to turn the other cheek and forgive seven times seventy times. He welcomed the conversion of sinners with great fanfare and honored the poor as if they were kings. He called the first last and the last first.
Let’s face it. The Lord shocked the hell out of this world.
Now if we truly believe in the Lord: listen to Him, take His advice, imitate Him and constantly allow ourselves to be challenged by Him, then I am convinced that they will get the best out of life.
Who writes your story? Who deserves your life? Who deserves to write it down? You or the Lord? If it is the Lord, then be prepared to be constantly surprised and humbled. Be prepared for a shocking yet happy ending.
The Roman centurion did not consider himself worthy of the Lord’s presence, so he sent in his place a delegation of Jews. When they returned to him, the Roman was shocked to hear what the Master had told them: “Not even in Israel have I found such faith.” The delegation was surprised to learn that the servant was completely healed.
Every time we sin, we take the pen out of the Lord’s hands and write our own story. This story will most certainly end in fear and in tears. In loneliness. But when we allow the Lord to write our story, when we follow His commands, His example and His story, then we know it will always end in shock and wonder. Together.
…And they lived happily ever after.