MONDAY

It's always a good idea to read the Gospel passage before listening to or reading the reflection. 

CLICK HERE to read today's Gospel passage

CLICK HERE to listen to this reflection on the 5 Minute Gospel Podcast


Today, St Matthew gives us the cure of a Roman centurion’s servant. Matthew grouped together the healing of a leper (Matthew 8:1-4), today’s healing of a Roman servant and the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (8:14-15). These healings are of people who were excluded in one way or another from Jewish society.
Matthew grouped these healings together to make a point: Jesus, the Saviour, came for everyone, not just the Jewish people and those who are excluded are especially important to Jesus. 

The Jews who saw Jesus offering to help a Roman centurion would have been annoyed. The soldier was not a Jew and, worse still, he was a member of the Roman army which had conquered Israel. Then, seeming to add insult to injury, Jesus praised this gentile’s faith: 

‘Nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this.’ 

As we read this Gospel, no doubt we recognised those familiar words from the centurion: 

‘Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will be cured.’ 

With a slight variation, we repeat his words at every Mass, just before receiving Jesus in Holy Communion: 

‘Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul will be healed.’ 

The words of the soldier showing his faith in Jesus have become our words to show our faith in Jesus. 

The Roman soldier realised that he was not worthy of Jesus help, but he had faith that Jesus would help him. 

We need to do the same. 

Each of us needs to say the centurion’s words and believe them: 

‘Lord, I am not worthy … but only say the word and my soul will be healed.’ 

We ‘are’ not worthy of the endless love, mercy and forgiveness Jesus freely give to us. I am not worthy, you are not worthy, no one is worthy of this love – but Jesus makes us all worthy. 

Jesus is always ready to ‘say the word’: to love us, to heal us, to forgive us. All we need to do is ask. 

‘Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul will be healed.’ 

In the Office of Readings for today, St Charles Borromeo speaks about Advent: 

‘Each year, as the Church recalls this mystery, she urges us to renew the memory of the great love God has shown us. … When we remove all obstacles to his presence he will come, at any hour and moment, to dwell spiritually in our hearts, bringing with him the riches of his grace.’ (Click here for the whole reading from St Charles - and scroll to the bottom of the page) 
Advent is an opportunity not to be missed. 
  • It is an opportunity ‘to renew the memory of the great love God has shown us’ – to remind ourselves of God’s love for us. 
  • It is an opportunity to ‘remove all the obstacles’ to Jesus’ presence in our lives. 
  • It is an opportunity to ask him to ‘say but the word’ and come to us, heal us and live in our hearts. 
Don’t miss the opportunity! 
‘Lord, I am not worthy … but only say the word and my soul will be healed.’