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HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 24TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A.
HOMILY THEME: FAITH OF THE CENTURION
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
In the day’s Gospel Jesus was amazed at the faith of the centurion. The centurion told Jesus that He need not go to their place to heal his servant. Jesus only needed to say the word and the servant will be healed. Such show of faith left Jesus in awe and could not help but compare the centurion’s faith, who was a pagan in the first place, with the people of Israel, the chosen ones.
Again, the context of the reading is the plan of salvation which was to begin in Israel and then to the rest of the world. But the people of Israel rejected the Messiah, Jesus Christ. They we were expected to have the necessary faith were the ones who ignored it in Jesus. The centurion, a member of the Roman empire, base on his formation and discipline, showed what was suppose to be the “faith” of the Israelites. While others wanted Jesus to touch them and have Jesus with them, the centurion told Jesus He need not do so. His words and intentions were enough. He was saying that if Jesus is for real, touch or no touch, presence or absence, He can heal the ailing servant.
Faith is complete trust. It is putting our whole person in the hands of God. His words, touch, and presence are helpful. But for somebody who has great faith, they are not necessary. We need not be in Fatima, Lourdes, or St. Peter’s to feel God’s presence and receive His healing grace. Hindi mo kailangang tamaan ng holy water to be blessed. While there is a place to pray and celebrate the Eucharist, we can still meet God anywhere. However, we meet the Lord “par excellence” in the Eucharist. And the very response of the centurion was made part of the mass as our response after the consecrated host has been elevated and declared as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world; “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you. But only say the word and I shall be healed.”
Ironically, we have to learn from a pagan. Ironically, Jesus found the best faith from a pagan. Nevertheless, the point is clear. Let us have faith in God like that of the centurion. God is at work 24/7. He got our back, front, above, and below.