September 16, 2019 AD, Monday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time.
In St Paul’s First Letter to Timothy, who is a leader and bishop of the early Church, Paul presents some basic rules and duties for believers. Namely, we are to pray for all, including specifically those in authority and particularly the king, (and queen). The early Church is praying for a religious tolerance towards them; the hope and desire is be able to get along within one’s society--to be accepted and able to worship the one true God. Paul also reaffirms that there is only one mediator between God and men: Jesus Christ. The underlying consideration is to be a good citizen in society and most imperatively to be a GOOD CHRISTIAN. This is pleasing to God.
In today’s Gospel, we learn of the Roman centurion-- a non-Jew--who, out of respect for Jesus, sends elders of the Jews to Jesus with the request for healing of the centurion’s critically ill male servant. Jesus agrees to go; those who approached Jesus conveyed the goodness of the centurion, who is charitable and respectful to the Jews. This request is full of faith and humility; as Jesus gets closer to the residence of the centurion and the sick servant, he is told “only say the Word and my servant will be healed.” The centurion understands the power and authority that Jesus has, and he readily acknowledges it. It is interesting that one of authority and power recognizes it in another who also has power and authority.
May I suggest that today’s readings invite us to look at life and faith through the eyes of ecumenicalism, seeing truth and recognizing it, living with fellow citizens of the world and exemplifying Gospel values.
Only say the Word and my servant, my need, my soul will be healed. Thanks be to God!