A standing ovation is a form of applause where members of a seated audience stand up while applauding after extraordinary performances of particularly high acclaim.
Ovation comes from the Latin word “ovo”, which means “I rejoice”.
When a certain accomplishment causes great rejoicing and happiness, it is often, responded with an ovation..
>> Sportstars receive this ovation after a stupendous performance of sporting skills…
>> Musicians are accorded this ovation after a special rendition of their musical piece…
>> Orators and speakers are given this ovation after a marvellous speech or a talk…
The Gospel of the Day is a similar account of Jesus expressing His ovation for a person who showed tremendous faith.
>> When the faith and trust becomes so intense, even Jesus gives a special sign of appreciation!
We have today the incident of the healing of the Centurion’s servant.
Jesus lavishes His appreciations and admirations for a wonderful display of faith.
Here is the story an unusual faith found in an unusual man who displayed his faith in an unusual way.
1. The Centurion was an unusual person…
As the name suggests, a Centurion was a person with a hundred soldiers.
>> They worked for the Roman Empire and were Gentiles.
This Centurion however, was unusual, because of the fact, that he was very much concerned of his slave.
This was rare indeed. In the Roman Empire, slaves had no rights. They could be mistreated and even put to death.
It was said that “when your animals are old, you throw them out to die. You do the same with your slaves.”
So this is the unusual thing about this unusual Centurion – He cared very much about his slave!
2. The centurion showed an unusual faith…
The Centurion came to Jesus asking and pleading for help.
>> But when Jesus said that He would come to his house and heal him, the centurion was quick to answer him, ” I am not worthy to have you under my roof” ( Mt 8:8)
The spirit of a military man is clearly exhibited by the centurion..
A soldier’s way of thinking is extremely logical and to the point:
>> When an order is given, instant obedience is expected.
>> My commanding power goes beyond the realms of space
>> My presence or absence is no excuse for my soldiers to disobey
The Centurion fully believed that Jesus was a mighty commander with all powers subjected to Him.
>> And so a word was enough for the healing to take place…
>> An expression of approval was good enough for the miracle to happen…
3. The Centurion received an unusual response
This tremendous expression of faith was enough for Jesus to admire and appreciate Him.
>> Jesus was astonished by this wonderful demonstration of confidence and belief: ” Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel, have I found such faith” (Mt 8: 10)
We have seen many instances of people praising and appreciating the works and wonders of Jesus.
But, it’s one of those rare occasions, when Jesus publicly acknowledges and asserts the glorious faith of the one seeking for help.
>> The Lord gives a wonderful ovation and applause for this wonderful presentation of faith.
This Gospel is a wonderful challenge for each of us to examine our life of faith…
In a situation…
… when we are surrounded by sicknesses of negativity and discouragement,
… when life-threatening moments of crushing-failures and despair encircle us,
… when we get depressed by the various day to day problems of life,
>> Can we also boldly say, ” Only say a word, Lord…and I will be healed!”
As a famous saying goes, “It is easy to praise the Lord… But it really is a challenge to receive praises from the Lord!”
>> When we stand firm in our faith in God, we receive ovations and appreciations from Him
>> When we have confidence in our love for God, we receive ovations and admiration from Him
>> When we remain strong in our Hope in God, we receive ovations and approval from Him.
In the Acts of the Apostles, we read, that when St Stephen was at the verge of death, after his powerful witness, he saw, “Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56)
>> The Courageous Faith of St Stephen was rewarded with a standing ovation by the Son of God!
>> The Trusting Confidence of the Centurion was blessed with a verbal ovation by the Saviour of the World!
Shall we also make our faith and our Christian, worthy of an ovation from the King of kings?
God Bless! Live Jesus!