Daily Reflection – Sep 18, 2017
Monday 18 September 2017
First Reading:1 TM 2:1-8
You are my inheritance, O Lord.
PS 28:2, 7, 8-9
Gospel Reading: LK 7:1-10
Today’s Note: Monday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
When Jesus had finished all his words to the people,
he entered Capernaum.
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.
They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying,
“He deserves to have you do this for him,
for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.”
And Jesus went with them,
but when he was only a short distance from the house,
the centurion sent friends to tell him,
“Lord, do not trouble yourself,
for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.
Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you;
but say the word and let my servant be healed.
For I too am a person 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 at him
and, turning, said to the crowd following him,
“I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”
When the messengers returned to the house,
they found the slave in good health.
I did not consider myself worthy to come to you. (Luke 7:7)
You’ve probably heard the stereotype about men being unwilling to ask for directions. But there’s likely some truth in it for both genders. We all like to be in control. Some of us would rather go into a department store and search endlessly instead of asking for help. Before GPS systems, many folks would puzzle over a map rather than consult anyone. It takes a little humility to admit you need help—and to trust someone else who knows more than you do.
We see both facets of humility in the centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant. He was an influential man, more accustomed to giving orders than taking them. Yet he didn’t feel worthy even to be in Jesus’ presence, and sent his friends to relay the message. He recognized that Jesus possessed a holiness and power far greater than his own. But still, he wasn’t afraid to ask Jesus for help! Perhaps that’s because he also sensed Jesus’ goodness—just as he valued his own servant, so Jesus valued him. Surely Jesus would not ignore his request. And he didn’t. Jesus saw his humility and faith and healed his servant.
Sometimes humility involves admitting our need for help and believing that God can—and wants to—meet our need. That’s not so simple to do. It’s easier to pretend that we are doing fine and ignore our fiery temper than it is to repent and ask for God’s grace in Confession. Or we may see our need—perhaps someone we love is sick—but we lack the faith to ask Jesus for healing. So maybe the first step in growing in humility is to say, “Jesus, I’m not worthy. But I believe you can help me and change me.” After all, we wouldn’t be reading about the centurion today if he hadn’t taken a step of humble faith.
Perhaps you also have a great need that you want to bring to prayer. Imitate the humility of this centurion. You don’t know God’s will about this issue, and you are powerless to change it by yourself. But you also know that he loves you. And that’s an excellent starting point! Bring your need to him and trust that he has the right answer.
“Lord, I trust in you.”