When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.” And he said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.”
When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
My mind wanders and I don’t always pay close attention but at a recent Eucharistic liturgy I was captivated by the words chosen by the presider: “Lord Jesus, you come for those who have need of you. Lord, have mercy.” Today’s Gospel speaks of “need” and confidence in being true to one’s word. How often have we heard the words, “You have my word on it!”
The centurion is outright in admitting his need and he trusts Jesus’ word. Jesus is amazed at the man’s faith. Can I be so bold about my need? Can I trust Jesus saying to me, “You have My Word on it!” How might this Advent lead me to a deeper celebration of the mystery of the Incarnation if I truly took God’s Word to heart?
—Susan Kusz, SND serves as Associate Director at the Jesuit Retreat House in Oshkosh, WI.
Yes, Jesus, you come for those who have need of you. You came in time, you come right now, and you will come again. We are today’s people in need. Teach us to trust your Word and your presence within and among us. This day may we have great faith in your healing miracles at work in our hearts. Amen!
—Susan Kusz, SND