Dec 2 (Mt 8:5-11)

A young man – new in town – was visiting a nearby church.

As he looked at the various art works, paintings and statues…

… his eyes chanced upon a stained-glass window.

The glass had a phrase written on it: “Glory to God in the Highest.”

However, the man also noticed…

… the part of the glass window that had the letter “E” in the word HIGHEST was broken and so missing.

Thus the phrase read instead: “Glory to God in the High st!”

When he saw that phrase, something greatly stuck him…

… High St was the name of the place where he was living – High Street!

And he nurtured this feeling within him:

“This is a clear message from the Lord to me, as I come to this new town

>> I need to Give Glory to God in the HIGH ST…

… the place where I am living – HIGH STREET – is where the Name of God needs to be glorified!”

The man realized that the way to Glorify God would be to Glorify Him in the place where he was…

… Glorify God – with Deep Faith and Trust – wherever we live, work and move about!

The Gospel of the Day is a beautiful account of a man who “Glorified God – with Deep Faith and Trust – by translation his faith into living and concrete action …

… and Jesus expressing His admiration for the person of Faith!

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 appreciations from Him

>> When we have confidence in our love for God, we receive admiration from Him

>> When we remain strong in our Hope in God, we receive approval from Him.

May we realize that that the way to Glorify God would be to Glorify Him in the place where we are and in the situation we are in…

… Glorify God – with Deep Faith and Trust – wherever we live, work and move about!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “One single day of devotion is worth more than a thousand years of worldly life!”

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