1After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. 3When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. 4When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy of having you do this for him, 5for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.” 6And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; 7therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. 8For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” 9When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” 10When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.
Reading Scripture to Know:
- What is happening/being said?
- Why is this happening/being said?
- What does the rest of Scripture say about it?
- What does it mean?
- What does it mean for us?
Reading Scripture to Grow:
- What words or phrases stand out to you? Why?
- Where do you hear the voice of God in this Scripture?
- How do you see the character of God reflected in this Scripture?
- How does this Scripture reveal God?
- How does this Scripture expose humanity and its need for God?
- How does this Scripture speak to what is happening in your life?
- How does this Scripture speak to what is happening in our world?
- What might God want to communicate to you (us) this week through this Scripture?
Reflection: How do you understand the power of God? What is it and how does it work? Can you turn the power of God on or off like an appliance or control it from a distance as with a remote control? If not, how do you experience or access God’s power? The power of God is not able to be manipulated or abused by us and God does not respond to us in power “on demand.” There is a mystery to the power of God. Why does God choose to heal some and not others? Why does God intervene supernaturally in some instances and not in other dire situations in which there are similarly pressing needs? Why does it seem that miracles and manifestations of God’s power are not as prevalent today as in biblical times? We are not called on to control or direct the power of God, but to accept as a gift of grace the working of God in power as God sees fit. Oftentimes God is working in powerful ways in our lives in ways that are subtle and imperceptible. God’s power is not always flashy and showy. Sometimes the power of God is displayed in the quiet grace that gets us through the day. So do your part and trust that God will reveal his sustaining, victorious, healing power in you today as God chooses. We are weak; God is strong.
Prayer Focus: If you were to receive healing today, what would that look like? What is broken within you? Sometimes we might resist the idea of praying for healing. What about those times we have prayed for healing and it has not come according to our understanding? Ask God to heal you and those who are suffering in mind, body, and spirit today. Do not try to rationalize your willingness or unwillingness to pray. Do not try to explain God away. Trust that regardless of circumstance God will bring healing in his wisdom and in his way. Perhaps as you pray you will resist the temptation to tell God how you would like the healing to manifest itself. Pray these simple words – “Father, bring your healing to me (or my brother or sister). Heal me (them) in the way in which they need, according to your power and purpose. You are our healing. Give me the ability to trust in your power. In Christ’s name, amen.”
Meditation Focus: The centurion was more interested in entering into the power of God than he was in having Jesus literally enter his house. He knew that the power manifested in Jesus’s life could transcend the obstacles of space and time and flow into his home from a great distance. In other words, the centurion desired to enter into the house in which Jesus called home, the house of trust and communion the Son shares with the Father and Holy Spirit. Picture in your mind what the house of God looks like; where do Father, Son, and Holy Spirit abide together? Walk down the path to this house, leaving all of your inhibitions along the way. As you approach the door, allow God to release you of the burdens you carry. These burdens are not allowed inside; only you are allowed inside. As you walk into the door, God clothes you with a robe of grace and a crown of love. What does it look like inside? Is there a room for you? How does God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – welcome you inside? Look around – is there a banquet of Spirit-fruit set for you in the dining hall? Does God offer you the salve of healing and salvation for your weary bones and muscles? Is there a table ready with the bread and wine to revive you and make you strong?* Is Christ himself bowing before you to wash your feet in the waters of his baptism? Linger here. Commune with God in his power and peace. Make your home here. You will find what you are in need of within these walls.
Journaling Focus: Write about a time in which you saw the power of God at work, either in your own life or in the life of someone you know. Why was there a need for God’s powerful intervention? Perhaps there was no perceivable need, but God worked in the mundane and everyday circumstances of life. Perhaps no one was expecting God to move in power and God did anyway. How did you know it was God working? What happened specifically? Did others around you recognize this event as the work of God or did they doubt? Did you doubt at first, too? Why do we doubt that God is working when we see God’s power displayed? How have such experiences opened you up to the further work of God’s power within you? Write about what it would look like for God to manifest his power in your life now as he did that time in the past. How might you be changed now by the power of God? How might discipline yourself to be more aware, more attentive, to the work of God’s power in the world around you?
Breath Prayer: Father, pour out your healing power on me (us).
*With an assist from Monseigneur Bienvenu.