Sunday 2 October 2016

Monday 1st week of Advent Lundi 1ere semaine de l’Avent

“Amen I say unto you, in no one in Israel have I found faith as great as this.”

Is.2,1-5 Ps.121 Mt.8,5-11

Monday 1st Week of Advent

“When Jesus went into Capharnum, a centurion came up and pleaded with him ’’Sir ’he said ’my servant is lying at home paralysed and in great pain.’ Jesus said to him ’I will go myself and heal him.’

We can admire this man’s audacity, an army centurion who asks Jesus to heal his servant.

When we intercede for our brothers, conversion is there standing out before us. We say to Jesus ’Lord, come, I know you will do something to save us, I really want to believe.’

We need to be healed, whether we be in the Church in our families, in our towns or villages. Our faith in Jesus is translated by a confidence in Jesus who is agony in his brothers until the end of time.

All that is strength of life, of combat we shall put into place to build up the community where the poor will have the first place.

Jesus comes into our ’Capharnaum’, this ’home of ours’, symbolically into our attic, cellar, or room where we have piled all sorts of things up, in here Jesus brings his Light!

But Capharnaum is also our people, with our sick people whom we frequently forget due to our frenzied rhythm which characterises our way of life.

We run around all the time, without thinking about those who, because of sickness of other circumstances, stay marginal, unable to follow this frenetic rhythm.

Jesus said to us : ’Each time you have does this to one of my brothers you have done so to me.’

“The centurion replied ’Lord, I am not worthy to have you under my roof, but only say the word and my servant will be healed.” For I am under authority myself and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man ’Go’ and he goes; to another ’Come here’ and he comes; to my servant ’Do this’ and he does it.”

T he centurion from Capharnaum doesn’t forget his servant sick in bed, for he loves him. Even if he is more powerful than him and if his servant is placed under his authority, he is thankful to him for all these years of service., he has a profound esteem towards him.

And so , pushed by his love, he addresses Jesus in his presence and makes an extraordinary expression of faith, which the liturgy has kept : ’Lord, I am unworthy to come under your roof, but only say the word and my servant shall be healed.’

This centurion has a hundred soldiers under him. ’You can heal my servant’ he tells Jesus. At these words, Jesus is in a state of admiration : the centurion received Jesus’ promise for his sick servant. Jesus did indeed say to him’ I’m going to heal him.’

“When Jesu heard this he was astonished and said to those following him ’Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found faith a s great as this. And I tell you that many will come from east and west ad sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven.”

This centurion’s confession of faith leans upon hope; it bursts forth from the trust in Jesus Christ, as well as a feeling of personal indignity which allows him to recognise his own nakedness.

We can only draw close to Jesus if we are humble, as the centurion was. This is how we can live from the hope that the time of Advent brings us : Hope of salvation and of life, of reconciliation and of peace.

The only person who can hope is the one who recognises his own poverty and realises that the meaning of his life is not found in himself but in God alone.

Let us draw near to Jesus with confidence, and may the centurion’s prayer be also our own.

Each day for the last two thousand years we still say ’Lord I am not worthy to come under your roof, but only say a word and I shall be healed!’

This sentence has become the prayer of the faithful who draw near to the table of Christ. We are happy to celebrate together the Eucharist and to hear the Word of God, to receive Christ’s Body and the Blood of Jesus so that we can be transformed in Him!

We ask for the grace to grow in faith in God who Alone can save us.