Sunday, May 27, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Matthew 8:5-13
The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.
But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. (Matthew 8:8)

Compassion to others — the result of great faith: Today's reading of St. Mathew is a combination of two sections of Luke 7:1-10 and 13:28-29. This focuses on the sayings of both the centurion and Jesus. The healing story tells us that miracle happened immediately at a distance. The emphasis is not on the miracle as such but on the faith of gentiles. The centurion does not claim to have faith; it is Jesus who testifies to the man's faith. There is nothing told about this man's creed. We don't know whether he was a theist or monotheist. Yet Mathew speaks of him as a model of faith. It is based on the compassion that the centurion expressed for someone who is dependent on him.
Emptying of self and pride is the foundation of great faith: The centurion's concern for the servant - a concern that compels him to make a potentially humiliating request. He doesn't feel embarrassed to seek out an itinerant preacher and healer, confess his unworthiness to receive a personal visit and ask him only to say an authoritative word of healing for the servant. (vs. 8-9 ) He believes in the authority of Jesus as an overruling power and the centurion is identified as person of authentic faith — a faith that moves mountains. He is doubly an outsider, the first gentile to appear in Mathew's story and is an army officer, part of the oppressive establishment. This story leads us to understand that Self-centered guilt and self- centered pride can be dissolved by the faith in Jesus and word of God transcends all boundaries and heals all wounds.
This text poses a particular challenge before us. Today our world is witnessing a new struggle for cultural and political dominance; characterized by a "clash of civilizations" A real challenge ahead is to transform the pattern of competition for hegemony into a new acknowledgement of plurality. The basic question is how can we learn to accept "others" in their difference, not as threat but as a potential enrichment."

Prayer: As we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy every day, we think of how they have followed in the footsteps of your son, our Savior Please hold our servicemen and women in your strong arms. Cover them with your sheltering grace and your presence as they stand in the gap for our protection. Amen. .

Humility in character invokes respect from others

Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church