Thursday – August 21, 2014; Matthew 8:5-13
5 When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him 6 and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.” 7 And he said to him, “I will come and cure him.” 8 The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” 10 When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” And the servant was healed in that hour.
In today’s Gospel reading the centurion comes to Jesus to ask for healing…yet it is not healing for himself but a selfless request made in faith for his servant. His faith is so great that it moves Jesus to not only heal the servant, but to praise the centurion for the strength of his faith.
Faith can make us whole, it is in faith that we trust Christ to come to us…to heal us, to see us through the tough times, and it is faith that lets us see that there is joy in the world, that life IS good!
Faith can help us to breath in the Grace of God that surrounds us! Faith that we do not raise our children alone…and that there is far more good things in our lives and in the world than there are trials and challenges!
Faith that the love God has for us is as strong as the love we feel for our children! Faith that the Holy Spirit is found in the love we share with each other!
As a single parent I have often had to fall back on my faith….my faith in God and in the people in my life who have helped me through many perilous days and nights; especially during the challenging teenaged years when I found myself humbled time and time again, by what I did not know about being a parent! It was also during these years that I often found myself overwhelmed by fear and worry…and feeling as if my prayers were going into a giant ‘in-box’ and were still pending an answer!
It was then that I was most like the centurion in today’s Gospel…as I prayed for healing for my daughter and the strength to keep my faith alive, one day at a time, as I had to deal with situations that were mostly out of my control. To be honest my faith often faltered, and I found myself angry with God…yet I never stopped believing that God was with me, though I did get annoyed when the situation did not appear to be improving.
In the long run though, God came through…things began to improve, along with my attitude as my faith became stronger, and I was able to feel less stressed and resentful, and reminded myself that it is never God’s Will that we be in pain or trouble, but that God wants us to be happy joyous and free, and to enjoy the gift of life that we share with each other.
It is faith that saw us through the rough spots, and that gave us many reasons to rejoice, as while life is not always perfect it IS still good…and that it is the Risen Christ who comes to us, to offer us hope, love and healing; it is walking in the light of Christ that we are given the strength to face our challenges as single parents, and it is also this light which we celebrate together as we walk through our lives in faith.
Let us Pray:
God thank you for coming to us with your healing gift of grace and love. Please help us to keep our faith in you no matter what challenges come our way; understanding that it is when the going gets tough that faith is needed more than ever! Let us share this faith with each other: our children, our families, friends and strangers as we life our faith out loud on a daily basis. Help us to remember that it when we share our faith the light of your love shines brighter in our word…reminding us that life IS good, and that you are always with us…forever and ever…