Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 21: Year 1
“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. I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 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;” (Matthew 8:10 to 13).
It seems that our Lord Jesus was the first to bring the Good News to the Gentiles. Jesus is amazed at the faith of the centurion. The centurion compares the power of Jesus who can order diseases and evil spirits to depart, to his own human power to order soldiers around. He does this through his faith in Jesus.
In this Gospel reading Jesus heals a leper, the servant of the centurion, Peter’s mother-in-law and a host of others brought to him later that same day. It makes no difference to Jesus whether the people are Jews or Gentiles, or men or women. Our Lord Jesus only needs someone in the mix to have faith. It could be the person in need or someone petitioning on behalf of a person in need. Our Lord Jesus uses our faith to heal us and those we love, and later, to save us and, hopefully to turn around those we love so that they too might be saved and meet Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in all eternity.
As we approach the Sabbath tonight, ponder about the strength of your faith. Do you put your whole trust in the healing power of Christ Jesus? Do you do this for yourself as well as for the healing of those you love? Our Lord Jesus is still looking for our faith in order to heal us and save us. Rest, this evening and tomorrow, in the sure and certain knowledge that God in Christ Jesus loves you regardless of your ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, nationality, or language, or even your faith tradition. God just loves us no matter what. Jesus explains that our connection and response to God is through our faith in God’s call on our lives. I believe this call was made manifest in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Acknowledge God this Sabbath.
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done” (Genesis 2:1 and 2). So, for this evening and tomorrow day my friends, Shabbat Shalom.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John