HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK OF ADVENT.
THEME: FAITH AND HUMAN VALUE.
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul.
‘Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.’
A centurion was a professional officer of the Roman army after the Marian reforms of 107BC. Centurions commanded a century of around 80 legionaries. The position of a centurion carried authority and respect.
In a world where slaves were seen as mere working tools, it is surprising to see in the Gospel of today (Matthew 8:5-11) a centurion coming to Jesus to ask for healing for his slave. He didn’t send one of his men. He came to make the request by himself. He might have applied other means to help the recovery of his servant but to no avail.
Though the centurion acknowledged his position of authority: “For I am a man under orders myself, and I have soldiers under me. And if I say to one: ‘Go,’ he goes, and if I say to another: ‘Come,’ he comes…” (Matt 8:9), he submitted his authority to Jesus for his faith to rise. For all authorities must be subjected to that of Jesus. He wasn’t a Jew yet he showed so much faith in Jesus.
Kindness is not cultural. It is a personal attitude. The centurion could have allowed the slave to die. The law allowed him to resell or kill any slave that was no longer doing what he should be doing. But he accepted this slave as one of his own. He stripped himself of his authority so that his faith can rise before Jesus. We must learn to treat everyone with kindness and love no matter where life or society has placed them.
Every human being has value and dignity. It doesn’t matter how we see them. It doesn’t matter where they work. It doesn’t matter who is their master. It doesn’t matter how poor they are. We must learn to see people exactly how their Creator sees them; with love and dignity. And we have to treat them that way. Every life must matter to us, and not just because they are related to us.
Love does not know celebrity status. It is kind and gentle. Love is humble and simple. Love does for others what they can’t do for themselves. We must learn also to present before Jesus all those who can’t take themselves to Him. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God have mercy on us, heal our world, bless and protect us all through Christ Our Lord Amen. Pls, stay safe. Good morning
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