....when Jesus was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy of have you come under my roof; .....only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. ,....When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him,....Jesus said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”
The centurion was a person who was most certainly used to taking risks. He was a commanding officer in the military. He was a take charge person, a person of enormous power. The centurion was also a person of compassion because he spoke on behalf of a slave. Obviously a slave he cared for. It was risky business for a Roman soldier of power, sending word to a Jewish Rabbi, asking for help. Who might have been watching? If the centurion lived in this day and age he most certainly would have been followed by the paparazzi. But because he took the risk, Jesus commended him for his faith and healed the centurion’s slave.
Henry Nouwen writes from his book, Bread for the Journey:
“Spiritual courage is following the deepest desires of our heart at the risk of losing fame, popularity, and power. It asks our willingness to lose our temporal lives in order to gain eternal life.”
Thanks be to God!
Gift us with courage to stand in solidarity with persons who have no “voice” or “power” and People who risk being ridiculed, mocked, and even hated. Make us people who offer a compassionate presence, as your dear Son demonstrated in so many ways. Thank you for your compassion for all people. Thank you for your compassion to me. Help us be your “hands and feet.” Amen.