Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Receiving Jesus.

Father Ignatius finished reading from Matthew Chapter 8 Verse 5 then waited for the congregation to sit down.

“Imagine …” he said, “that I asked you to share your lunch with me today …

“If I said that Mrs Davenport, our housekeeper, has gone away suddenly and has not prepared Sunday lunch. So instead of staying at home alone with a piece of bread and ginger marmalade, I’d come home with you after Mass and share your meal with you.

“What would you think?”

He waited patiently for a few seconds.

“Would you think … Oh no … I haven’t had time to clean the house. It’s in a right state and I don’t want him to see it this way!

“Or … Not today, without prior notice … All we have at home is a few eggs and some bread …

“What other reasons would cross your mind, I wonder, to stop me from visiting you unannounced?”

After a few seconds’ pause he continued.

“In today’s Gospel we read about a Roman Centurion asking Jesus to heal his servant. And when Jesus agrees and makes his way towards the house the soldier says, ‘I am not worthy that you come into my house …’

“He doesn’t stop Jesus because the house is not clean, or because he has nothing to offer Him by way of refreshments … He says that he is not worthy to have Jesus visit him.

“He is a Roman Officer, a member of an occupying army with many soldiers under his command. He has power over many men and territory. Yet, he does not feel worthy enough to have such an eminent person as Jesus visit his home.

“He goes on to say ‘Just say the word and my servant will be healed!’

“What Faith, from someone who supposedly should have no Faith at all in Jesus! After all, Jesus was considered by the Romans as just another Jew in this occupied land ... nothing special.

“He says to Jesus, ‘I trust you enough and in your power, that you only have to say it, and my servant will be well.’

“And of course Jesus heals the servant without visiting the house.”

Father Ignatius stopped for a few moments once again.

“I wonder if we have similar Faith!” he asked.

“Do we trust Jesus enough to believe that He will listen to our prayers? Or do we harbor some doubts in our minds?

“Are we worthy to have Him visit us in our homes? Or will He be shocked by the cobwebs in every corner of our soul?

“And when we come forward for Holy Communion, and repeat the Centurion’s words, do we really mean them? I am not worthy to receive You ... ... ...

“Or do we hide the cobwebs of sin in our very souls? For make no mistake about it. This is what Communion is … Jesus abiding within your very soul.

“And if there’s sin hidden in our hearts … then we are not worthy indeed to receive Him.”

13 comments:

  1. I love the humility of the Roman centurion. He, despite his unworthiness had very great faith. Good questions you (I mean Father Ignatius) asks here. Stories like this make us dig more deeply into our own hearts.

    Don't you mean scones and ginger marmalade? Oh, wait! You are correct - I remember a song from when I was a tot called "Toast and marmalade for tea" :) Have you heard that one?

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  2. Hi Mary,

    The story of the Centurion always comes to mind when my Faith fails me.

    That and Mark 9:24 - I believe, Lord; help my unbelief.

    Never heard of the song you mention. I just love ginger marmalade on toast, scones, crumpets or just by itself.

    God bless.

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  3. Yes, that's it :) You can find anything on You Tube can't you? I can't believe you actually found that old song - and I can't believe I that I actually remembered it!

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  4. I can't get the tune out of my head now !!!!

    God bless.

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  5. A very convicting homily by Fr. I. The cobwebs of sin-yuck! I always think of this scene as it is played out in the movies Jesus of Nazareth. The actor (Ernest Borgnine) plays it with such humility. It is a great visual for this scripture passage.
    Thanks and God bless Victor.

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  6. If I were only more like the Centurion! Thank you Victor.....

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  7. Hello Karinann and Daily Grace,

    If only we all had the Faith and humility of the Centurion ... too many cobwebs I suppose!

    God bless.

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  8. I wish I had that much faith. The frustrating thing for me is that I believe with my mind that Jesus can heal, and that it's his will to heal, and I believe fervently in the power of His Word. I feel if I had really had enough faith, and prayed the Word with enough anointing and authority, my friend Laura would not have died. I know that God had a plan for her and her family, but I just imagine if she had lived when Jesus was on the earth. If I had brought her to Jesus, I believe she would have been healed instantly. We have that same power living in us, and Jesus said we would do greater things than He did. But no matter how much we prayed for her, she just kept getting worse. Like I said, it's frustrating to me. But it's comforting to know she's in heaven now and she is well and at peace.

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  9. Sarah I know how bad you felt about Laura's death, and I have prayed for her and for you and both your families. You must not blame yourself.

    Yes Sarah, God has the power to heal, and has given that power in His name, to some amongst us. Some people here today do heal in His name.

    But there are times that, despite their prayers, people are not healed; and they die. We find it difficult to understand perhaps, or accpet. Why some are healed and some are not?

    Does God have favorites? we ask.

    Perhaps He favors that some join Him and be at Peace with Him sooner than others. Because their work here is done. They have been an example to others. For the rest of us, we still have some work to do for Him.

    It is His will.

    God bless.

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  10. It is wonderful that the centurion's words are now part of the new translation of the Mass.

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  11. Hello Sue,

    I find the Centurion's words so comforting.

    God bless you and yours.

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  12. Thank you, Victor. I can believe that God wanted Laura's company. And I know that she is infinitely more happy there with Him. I am slowly letting go of my disappointment and praising God for the time I had with her and for the plans He has that are so much better than anything I can understand.

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  13. I'm praying for you Sarah.

    God bless.

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God bless you.

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