3 December 2018. Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier, Priest
Reflection (Sem. Gerald M. Moscardon)
I have always been fascinated with self-help books ranging from how to play the guitar to how to build your own website. There are many sources online that can show you how to do things in many different ways. Even bookstores have huge sections dedicated for self-help books on how to be a good speaker or leader and much more. Self-help materials are good in themselves and when used correctly, they empower any individual to improve on what he can do and what he can be. But with an unhealthy disposition, self-help guides can replace “person”-al guides. They disregard person to person and intimate interaction and replace interdependence in relationships with self-sufficiency. Man is a social being. We are born into this world in the context of a relationship – the family. No one came into this world alone. Even the One who created us is in a perpetual relationship of Love where we are borne out of.
The temptation of the world today is the overemphasis on self, making the world revolve around us; that we can do almost everything on our own without help from anyone, not even from God. In the Gospel, a centurion approached Jesus with a clear understanding of who he was in front of God. “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Only say the word and my servant will be healed.” With profound humility, he was admitting to God that, in his power, he cannot save his servant; that despite his position in the world, he is still subject to someone who is far greater than he is; that he was helpless and needed help from someone who can truly help him and his servant. The centurion is showing us how to live in this self-centered world. With humility, he is showing us who we are in front of an Almighty God. We utter the same words of the centurion when we receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Do we have the same disposition? Let us put down our “self-help” guides and let Jesus be our only personal guide.
The Gospel Today
Matthew 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.”