We are beginning Advent. Let the centurion in today’s Gospel be our guide down to Christmas day. Let his prayer be the model of our own. Let a pagan show us how to pray with simplicity and confidence.
First of all, he tells Jesus why he is making his request. His servant is sick. Next he tells him he is not worthy that Jesus should come to his house to perform the requested healing. He is convinced that Jesus’ word from that distance will be sufficient.
Every prayer of petition should contain the same structure: simplicity, confidence, humility – or if you prefer – honesty.
Jesus’ reaction: amazement. It’s the only time in scripture Jesus registers amazement. And it was the faith of a pagan, apart from the Jewish religion, who showed the faith that elicited such a reaction.
My guide, the centurion, encourages me to pray during Advent for those non-Catholics, non-Christians who search for faith; who like the centurion, are also so concerned for the welfare of others
May God bless them and treat them as Jesus treated the centurion.