Daily Office Readings for Monday of the 7th Sunday of Easter: Year 2
“When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him and saying, ‘Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.’ And he said to him, ‘I will come and cure him.’ 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.” (Matthew 8: 5 – 8)
A believing Roman commander (centurion) approaches our Lord Jesus for help. In as much as he is asking Jesus for healing for his servant (whom he must truly love), but was not present, this is intercessory prayer.
I know parents who took their sick child to Europe for healing, healing that was not offered in the U. S. My point here is that we tend to drop boundaries when it comes to the lives of those we love. This centurion is a hoping believer. He has already accepted the one true God in place of the many gods of Rome of that day and has now heard about the healing power of the man called Jesus. He is desperate. He has nothing to lose. Jesus senses the anxiety of the centurion and says ‘yes’ to his request and the servant is healed.
The commander shows a deeper than average faith in the power of Jesus. When Jesus offers to come to his house the centurion shows that he has an understanding of the kind of power that Jesus has. He didn’t have to see it being done to witness it. He just needed Jesus to say ‘yes.’
There are more healing stories in this assigned reading for today; Peter’s mother in law was healed; and Jesus cast out demons and performed more healings in, and around Capernaum.
The take-away for me (and maybe you also) is that our Lord Jesus seems to be as moved by the anxiety of those asking for others, as he is moved for the person in trouble themselves, maybe even more. Jesus says in John’s Gospel, “Do not let your hearts be troubled, believe in God, Believe also in me” (John 14:1). I say often that God’s ears hears tears. I am now seeing also that a troubled heart attracts our Lord Jesus. Maybe we can take a page from the centurion’s playbook and take our concerns to Jesus and know that we don’t have to physically see Jesus follow us. We will see the healing in Jesus saying ‘yes.’
I continue to ask for prayers on behalf of Ukraine. God is particularly attentive to prayers for others, even those across the world. Let us pray for Ukraine to have healing and peace and hear our Lord Jesus say, “ yes.”
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