MONDAY HOMILY: 1ST WEEK IN ADVENT SEASON, YEAR B
THEME : ‘I am not worthy to have you under my roof: give the word, and my servant will be healed’
By: Fr Deotacious Chikontwe SMA
READINGS OF THE DAY
Good morning dear brothers and sisters, today is the first Monday of the first week of Advent, we are at the beginning of our Advent journey.
FROM OUR FIRST READING
In our first reading today, we heard of how prophet Isaiah spoke about his vision that he has received from the Lord, concerning the end of times, when the Lord will gather all the whole world, all people from various places and origins, and make them to be His own people. Contextually, back then, during the time of the prophet Isaiah and the period when the people of Israel still lived in the Promised Land prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, it was believed that the Israelites were God’s only chosen people, as they were chosen by God to be His people, as He led them out of their slavery in the land of Egypt and made a Covenant with them and their descendants at Mount Sinai.
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FROM OUR GOSPEL READING
The words of the centurion in today’s gospel reading have made their way into our Mass in a slightly altered version, ‘Sir I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will be healed’. It is strange that the words of a pagan, a representative of the occupying power in Israel at the time of Jesus, should come to be on the lips of believers during our most important liturgical gathering, the Eucharist. This centurion was no ordinary pagan. Jesus identifies him as having a faith greater than anything he had come across anywhere in Israel.
What distinguishes this man’s faith was his tremendous trust in Jesus’ word, ‘Say but the word…’ He didn’t need to meet Jesus face to face; he didn’t require Jesus to come to his house. It was enough for Jesus to speak at a distance, and he believed that his servant’s situation would change for the better. In that sense, this centurion is a good Advent figure. Advent is a time when we try to attend to the Lord’s word more fully, allowing it to enter our hearts and release its life giving power there. During this season we are invited to entrust ourselves to the Lord’s word, like the centurion in this morning’s gospel reading. In the words of Saint Paul, it is a time when we allow the Lord’s word to dwell in us richly.
Let us all hence make sure that our Advent observances and actions be truly centred on the Lord.
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