HOMILY, SATURDAY, 12TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A
Lam 2:2.10-14.18-19, Matthew 8:7-17
In our today’s gospel, we learn from the centurion the importance of faith. He was a man of faith who knew quite well that distance is never a barrier in the things of the spirit. He was a kind man who could do anything to save his servant.
This man greeted us with a kind of humility that is rare in our society today. Atimes, those who are well-placed in the society find it difficult to know their need of God. Some believe that the church needs them to survive instead. Hence, the church must recognize them and solicit for their help to survive.
However, it is very clear today that there are many things which money cannot buy. Health is one of them. If not, Nigeria would not have lost some of her big-wigs who died of recent. Their money could not save them. The centurion realized this in time and he left his house to meet Jesus. He swiftly put on the cloak of humility. The pride of position and acquisition can prevent people from knowing when they need to steep low so as to address issues that can eat up their lives. Our help can come from anybody. At times, God can put our help in the hands of those who the society regarded as nothing. It takes humility to access it.
Moreover, we often refuse to approach our helpers because of prejudice and malice. There is no point asking a Jew to come to a Gentile’s house. Jesus purposely said that he will come to the centurion’s house so as to know his reaction. As a Jew, he was not expected to enter a Gentile’s house. And Jesus said, “I will come and heal him” Matthew 8:7. The centurion in turns would rather say, “Don’t bother to come. Don’t break the rule lest your people criticize you. Simply give me what I want. I know that you have it. I believe in you.” The centurion bracketed the barriers caused by discrimination. He was ready to take whatever it takes to make his servant well. And Jesus gave him a testimonial,
“Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. Many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 8:11
It is not enough belonging to the Christian fold. We need to have strong faith in the Lord and in his power to save.
Irrespective of our status and religious affiliation, without faith, we cannot get anything from God.
“Lord, I’m not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.” Matthew 8:8
O Lord! Help me that I may have faith in your word. Save me from all forms of doubt. Make me humble that I may always know my need of you. Thy kingdom come.