Friday, June 26, 2009

Daily: 6/26/09

Mark 8:5-17

5 When he entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him,

6 saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully."

7 He said to him, "I will come and cure him."

8 The centurion said in reply, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.

9 For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it."

10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, "Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.

11 I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven,

12 but the children of the kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."

13 And Jesus said to the centurion, "You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you." And at that very hour (his) servant was healed.

14 Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.

15 He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him.

16 When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick,

17 to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet: "He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases."

There are some passages in the bible that grow more and more poignant to me each time I read them. I just realized this morning that this dialogue with the centurion is one of those passages.

The centurion is a commander of men, and he truly understands authority. He knows how to act when he has it, and he knows how to fully submit to someone who has authority over him. He instantly recognizes that Christ has supreme authority.

When Christ offers to come and see his son, the centurion's response is:

- I'm not worthy for you to enter my house
- Just say the word and I trust it will be done

The testimony was so great that Christ Himself was amazed. Just think about that. Amazed. Of all people, a Roman centurion recognizes and fully submits to His authority.

I really stopped to think about this exchange this morning. This testimony is so significant that we repeat it just before the Eucharist at mass. But is this really how I approach my Lord? Do I adore Him and fully submit to his royal majesty? Do I really think that I'm "not worthy"? Or do I think that I'm a pretty good person, doing my part to be obedient to Christ, and that I deserve the blessings that I get? Or do I I even recognize that the things I get are blessings at all?