December 1, 2014

The Gospel Today

Monday of the First Week of Advent

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.”

Reflection (Sem. Edgar R. Calma):

            In our everyday experience, we normally trust people to do things for us to the best of their ability. For example, when I was still working, I commuted on a daily basis going to the office. In doing so, I trusted that the bus, jeep, and taxi I rode on were driven competently enough to bring me to my desired destinations. I entrusted my life to their drivers by depending and counting on their capabilities to do the role for me.  And for that specific moment in my life, let say the travel time was for thirty (30) minutes to one (1) hour, my life was in the driver’s hands. I fully depended on his human expertise and gave my full faith and trust to him.

            On the other hand, I had my first operation when I was at the age of 21. The operation was intended to remove a cyst that grew at the lower portion of my back. I must admit that at that time, I was afraid just at thought of an operation. But I needed to conquer the fear and give my full trust and faith to the doctors who would perform the said operation. I did this by doing a quick survey of how competent my doctor was and by asking patients who went through a similar operation.  This helped me in managing my fear and entrusting my life to the doctor.

            What is common in those two experiences that I had, was my ability to entrust my life to other people. The difference was, that sometimes, trusting needed to be supported by additional proofs and evidence of success.

            In today’s gospel, when Jesus said to the Centurion, “I will come and cure him”, the Centurion’s response was, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” To me, it is as if the Centurion is telling our Lord Jesus Christ, your words are enough.  I don’t need to see proofs and evidence of healing because I believe and have faith in you.  Those words were very powerful because our Lord Jesus Christ, Himself, commended the Centurion by saying, “that no one in Israel had He found such faith.”

            As I reflect on the gospel, I recall the many instances in my life that I have failed to trust our Lord Jesus Christ because I was full of concern about myself.  I remember a situation when I needed to make a major decision in my career, I did it all by myself. I did not even discern and ask for God’s help because I thought I knew everything. Later on in my life, I realized that I was wrong.

            If I can entrust my life to a bus driver that I don’t even know or to a doctor that I do some quick background check, the more that I am invited to give my full trust to our Lord Jesus Christ in both simple and complicated occasions in my life. Because for those who have faith, proofs and evidence of success do not really matter. What matters is to know that our Lord Jesus Christ will not fail us the moment we surrender our life to Him.

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