Jesus Has Concern For The Needs Of All
Monday of Week 24 in Ordinary Time - Cycle I
1 Tim. 2:1-8 & Lk. 7:1-10
Today's two readings complement one another in their message of ecumenical concern for others.
Saint Paul tells Timothy that Jesus died to save all - Jew, Gentile and Christian, regardless of race, colour or creed. He urges the faith community to include the needs of all peoples in their petitions and prayers, that those in authority should not be excluded. Often we are quick to judge and criticise political leaders but fail to remember them in our daily prayers! Like everyone else they need our prayers, and even more so, because of the responsibility they undertake on our behalf. This would help them to make better decisions, based on Catholic principles, and lighten their load.
Paul also mentions that we should always pray reverently, and be free of anger or argument. It is worth mentioning that St. Francis in his rule of life says “anger and trouble of spirit are hindrances to charity not only in themselves but in others.”
The touching story of Jesus’ compassion for the plight of a centurion, who was a Gentile, is told by Saint Luke in today's Gospel reading. Paul tells us to pray for those in authority and now we see Jesus coming to the aid of someone in authority who approaches Him for help. It matters not to Jesus in the least whether this person is a Jew or a Gentile. All that matters is that he is someone in need. This military officer knew from experience the power of authority, and he recognised that power in Jesus: it was understandable, therefore, that he should tell Jesus that by His word alone He could cure his slave. Like Jesus, we have to admire the centurion's faith in Jesus' power to cure his slave from a distance. This should bolster our own confidence in Jesus in our time of need.
Before Holy Communion when we hear the priest say the words of the centurion may our faith in Jesus be as strong as his was and may we assure Jesus of our love and faith in Him.
'Lord I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and my soul will be healed.'