1st Reading: 1 Cor 11:17-26, 33
Brothers and sisters: In giving this instruction, I do not praise the fact that your meetings are doing more harm than good. First of all, I hear that when you meet as a Church there are divisions among you, and to a degree I believe it; there have to be factions among you in order that also those who are approved among you may become known. When you meet in one place, then, it is not to eat the Lord’s supper, for in eating, each one goes ahead with his own supper, and one goes hungry while another gets drunk. Do you not have houses in which you can eat and drink? Or do you show contempt for the Church of God and make those who have nothing feel ashamed? What can I say to you? Shall I praise you? In this matter I do not praise you. For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my Body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my Blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.
Gospel: Lk 7:1-10
When Jesus had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there 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. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, “He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he 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. 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.” 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.” When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.
HE IS WORTHY: It is said that kindness begets kindness. The testimony of the elders in his favour is complemented by the act in itself; of trying to save the life of his slave. Based on his goodness as they testified; “He deserves to have you do this for him”. The centurion may not have anticipated that someday, his kindness would count in his favour. Our noble deeds, selfless services and compassionate deeds will also one day count in our favour. Another striking aspect of this Gentile is his faith in Jesus. It was so striking that Jesus himself had to commend it; “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” He believed Christ could do the impossible, his words are powerful and can restore life. Many are the difficulties that we encounter in our day to day lives. Are we convinced of the power in His word?
Prayer: Lord and giver of life, we implore you to enkindle in our hearts, love for you and your people, strengthen our faith in you so that amidst the trials of this life we many never forget that you are always with us, to heal, lead and save us.
THE WORD OF GOD HEALS: A centurion (gentile) came to Jesus, to request Him to heal his slave. He had courage to reach to Jesus on behalf of his slave. He realized that he was not worthy to receive Jesus under his roof, and so requested Jesus to say the Word so that his slave would be healed. What great faith that the centurion had! The Word of God is full of power. How do we receive it? Do we trust that it will give us life? Sometimes we read the Word of God but fail to allow it to influence our life. In this way ee take it for granted. Following the example of St. John Chrysostom who had great knowledge of the Scriptures, let us have faith in the message of our Lord Jesus Christ.
NATURE OF WORTHINESS: The Roman Centurion of the gospel today had a good report, because he had an unusual attitude to his servant. He took care of his servant and when his servant was sick, he sent elders of the Jews to Jesus for the healing of his servant. He was a religious man for he built synagogue for them. He had an extremely unusual attitude to the Jews who would normally despise the foreigners. We also find that he was a humble man, because a Jew was forbidden to enter into a house of gentile. Therefore, he would persuade his Jewish friends to approach Jesus. Finally, he was a man of faith in Jesus. For he had confessed that he had authority over the soldiers and the servants and believed that Jesus had greater authority over everything. He believed that Jesus could do miracles. What about our faith in Christ our Lord?