When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The Centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject me. And I say to one, ´Go,´ and he goes; to another, ´Come here,´ and he comes; and to my slave, ´Do this,´ and the slave does it." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, "Amen I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from east and west and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe you desire me to spend this time in prayer with you; help me appreciate these moments. I trust in my life united to yours; strengthen my hope. I love you as my only treasure; renew me in your love.
Petition: Lord, come and cure me!
1. What’s Your Problem? The Centurion in this Gospel had a serious problem: His servant was “paralyzed and suffering dreadfully.” Have you ever had a problem and not known what to do or to whom to go to solve it? In our life we encounter many problems: kids gone astray, difficulties in the workplace or household, illness in the family, marital stress, etc. What are your problems today? If our problems get the best of us and make us paralyzed, then the first step in finding a solution lies in doing what the Centurion did: “approach Christ and appeal to him.”
2. Just Say the Word. What are you going to ask for this Christmas? Do you believe that you will get it? Even though you believe with all your heart that your loved ones will get what you ask for, you may be disappointed. But with Christ it is different. The Centurion’s problems were solved -- his servant was healed -- because he believed with all of his heart, mind and soul that Christ was the only solution to his problem. His faith even went beyond the limits of space and time; he believed so deeply that he exclaimed, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” Christ can solve anything we present to him; we must simply believe it. This is how we experience the “banquet in the Kingdom of Heaven” today.
3. Highway to Heaven. From the Centurion’s example, we know that to solve a problem and produce a miracle, we must approach Christ with great faith. Maybe we think Christ is tired of performing miracles in our lives or simply putting up with our hardness of heart, but quite the opposite is true. Christ’s true heart is already looking to give us what we need even before we ask. Just as Christ took the first step in setting up the encounter with the Centurion on the streets of Capernaum, so too he looks to encounter us on our path many times today. Let the miracle happen!
Dialogue with Christ: Lord, I approach you today because you are the fountain of eternal life. I appeal to you to help me in the struggles and problems I may encounter today. Help me to see them with a faith that is sure you can solve them. Bring me the peace for which my soul longs.
Resolution: Today I will face head-on one responsibility or problem I have been putting off. I will view it with faith and will complete it as Christ would want me to.