September 14, 2015

The good news for today

(A) centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself; I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Actually, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and that will get my servant healed.” (Luke 7)

This story is complicated, and even the Gospels do not quite agree on what happened here. To Jews a centurion was a despicable overlord, a major officer as part of an occupying army; on the other hand, this man was said to be generous to Jewish interests.

You are the centurion, of course—as you feel free of your prejudicial limitations, open to new possibilities, ready to have friends work for you, and humble enough to recognize an equality of good that binds good people to one another, no matter these lesser differences.

The faith of this Roman soldier in a Jewish preacher strikes you as odd—and noble. He shows magnanimity in addressing an unknown person, humility in his approach and immense trust that the favor—the grace—will be done. All of which reveals the authentic person—the one who transcends current prejudices of culture, religion, and politics to act with faith in others, who seek help from wherever it can be found.

You are Jesus, too—the Good News—ready to help when called on by needy people outside your comfort zone, by persons outside the circle of your familiarity. You are ready to offer what you can, no matter who, or how the need comes to you.


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