THE GREAT FAITH OF THE CENTURION [MATTHEW 8:5-7]
Faith is very important to Jesus! It’s so important that in today’s Gospel He points to the great faith of the centurion as a model of what it means to place our trust and confidence in nothing more than Jesus’ word. With this kind of faith, wonders and miracles can happen! Throughout the gospels, it seems that Jesus always responds positively to the kind of faith that exhibits this absolute trust and confidence.
How can we become more daring in our faith? First, we can simply ask the Lord to increase our faith. Faith is a gift – something that the Lord seems ready and willing to give us or to increase in us. Second, we can do our best to associate with others who seem to have a strong and healthy faith. Faith is contagious, after all. If we are in contact with people who lovingly and trustingly put their faith in the Lord, we will be more likely to see our own faith increase.
Another thing that we can do to make our faith more daring is to begin to use it in that way! It’s like exercise: The more we use our muscles, the stronger we become. Let’s try to exercise our faith in greater ways. For example, rather than pray about smaller events in our lives – which of course, is good and should never be forgotten – we might begin to focus on larger issues, even on a national or global scale. Remember what Jesus told His disciples (including us): “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). Jesus has the authority and power to do anything, anywhere in the universe.
Finally, we can become more daring in our faith by coming to know Jesus better through reading Scripture and prayer. The better we know Jesus, the more we will be convinced that He is loving, wise, merciful, and compassionate. We will trust that He will always do the best thing in every situation. Like the beloved disciple at the Last Supper, we can come to rest on His breast and trustingly ask Him for anything.
Jakarta, 28 June 2014
A Christian Pilgrim