Matthew 8:5-11, Gospel Reading Monday First Week of Advent
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."
Recognize that quote? There are many times like this throughout the Mass. Earlier in the Eucharist, we sing:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts…
That is from Revelation.
The Mass is seeped in Scripture. You need to consider that the roots of the Church was in a illiterate society. For most of the history of the Church it wasn’t that people weren’t allowed to read the Bible, they really couldn’t. So they needed to teach the scripture some other way. In comes paintings, stained glass, and statues. At one point, Latin was the language of the people, so the Mass was full of scripture quotes and allusions.
In this healing story, Jesus demonstrates his love for everyone. No one is outside of His grace and love. Not even this servant of a gentile.
And this gentile understands Jesus the best way he knows how. He sees Jesus and understands His power in the terms of the power he experiences as a centurion. Jesus praises this. I observe that and I am reminded of the fact we all can only understand God through our own lenses. God’s love and God’s mercy and God’s justice is way outside our understanding. We can only look at it dimly like a mirror as Paul says. And that’s okay. God isn’t going to hold it against us. We need to do the best with what we have, but we can’t be judged for what we don’t have.
Follow me at Not Your Bible Teacher pretty much everywhere and I will be back tomorrow. ❤️