We’ll be reading a lot from Isaiah during the Advent season. And rightly so. In the first reading today, we see where we can “take cover” from the things that beat us down. “For over all, the Lord’s glory will be shelter and protection: shade from the parching heat of day, refuge and cover from storm and rain.”
In our Gospel reading from Matthew 8, we hear words that should be very familiar to Catholics. A centurion approaches Jesus and asks Him to heal a servant who is “paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” Jesus offers to go to his home to cure the servant. But the centurion says to Him, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” We echo these very words right before we go receive Jesus in the Eucharist.
Jesus reacted to the centurion’s words thus: “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.” As we recite the centurion’s words (slightly altered, of course) at Mass, would Jesus say the same about us? Do you really believe that, with just a word, Jesus can heal you, your family, your friends, anyone and everyone? Or are you just mumbling words that you could say in your sleep and have mumbled for years? The next time you go to Mass, concentrate on that sentence. Say it with conviction. And hear Jesus commend you for your great faith.
Father, we do believe that Jesus can heal us. May our faith in the healing power of Jesus in the Eucharist grow ever greater. Amen.