Say the Word, Lord
Gospel Reflection for September 12, 2022
Whether we consciously recognize it or not, we all know how authority works. When a person in a position of authority asks us to do something, we do it. Conversely, when we ask a person in an authoritative position for something, they have the power to either approve or deny our request. This is the case with people such as our parents, bosses, teachers, and police officers.
Similarly, in today’s Gospel, a man in a position of power, a centurion, “had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave.” (Luke 7:2-3 NABRE)
However, when Jesus “was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, ‘Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me.’” (Luke 7:6-7)
In other words, the centurion was saying to Jesus with faith and confidence, “I understand how authority works, and I know that you have the power to heal my servant, so please just say the word.” The centurion did not doubt that Jesus had the ability to exercise His power and heal his servant. He trusted that Jesus could do so, and would do so. Further, by telling Jesus not to enter his home, but to simply say the word, the centurion demonstrated not only faith, but also profound humility.
“When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.’” (Luke 7:9)
Would Jesus find such faith in you? May we humble ourselves before the Lord and believe in His power to heal us and our loved ones, just as the centurion did.