THAT BEAUTIFUL gospel story of a centurion who approached Christ on behalf of his dying servant, importuning Christ for a miracle to happen, that is, for his servant to survive, (cfr. Mt 8,5-11) tells us precious lessons about how our faith in Christ should be.
It should be a faith that is so strong and deep that we would not hesitate to go to Christ or ask for a favor. And it should also be a faith that is so strong and deep that without asking Christ for a direct, face-to-face encounter with the persons concerned, we know that the favor would be granted.
As the gospel narrated, the centurion boldly told Christ the now famous words, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” To which, Christ responded, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.” And the servant was healed.
We have to remember that it is faith that would let us enter into the spiritual and supernatural world. It enables us to receive God’s favor, and brings us to share in God’s wisdom and power. Remember those stirring words of Christ: “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove from there, and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible to you.” ((Mt 17,20)
Without faith, in spite of our keenest intelligence, we will miss much of the more important aspects of our life as we would only be restricted to the here and now, the material and the temporal.
To those leading Jews who refused to believe in spite of the clearest evidence at least of his special powers, Christ has these strong, intriguing words to say: “They who see not, may see, and they who see, may become blind.” (Jn 9,39)
Especially in our special needs and persistent human miseries, we need to follow the example of the men and women, the blind, the lame, the deaf, the sick, etc., who did all to get close to Christ and to beg. Some even had to climb to the roof and cut a portion there to be able to be near Christ.
This is the pattern we have to follow. We have to eagerly seek Christ and importune him with all our might, accompanying our pleas with external signs of our fervent faith and love for him.
We need to understand that as the very beginning of our life with God, our life in the Spirit, which is a supernatural life more than just a natural life, our Christian faith has to be taken care of, nourished and developed to full maturity.
We need to be more aware of this duty and develop the appropriate attitude and skill to carry out this responsibility effectively. We have to go beyond mere good intentions or being merely theoretical in order to be truly practical and vitally engaged with this obligation.
Faith is a tremendous gift from God who starts to share with us what he has, what he knows about himself and about ourselves. It gives us the global picture of reality, covering both the temporal and the eternal, the material and the spiritual, the natural and supernatural dimensions of our life. Faith contains the medicine and the remedy to all our spiritual inadequacies and illnesses. It is what is required for miracles to happen, as attested many times in the Gospel. By Fr. Roy Cimagala (EV Mail November 28-December 4, 2022 issue)