Not even in Israel have I found such FAITH

Monday, 24th Week in Ordinary Time
Daily Readings: 1 Timothy 2:2-8 & Luke 7: 1 – 10

Reflection Date: September 13, 2021

Surprisingly, the words of highest praise are uttered by Jesus in praise of the Gentiles (Since the spread of Christianity, the word Gentiles designates, in theological parlance, those who are neither Jews nor Christians). In the Gospel, Jesus is amazed at the Centurion's faith and heals his slave from a distance. On another occasion, He describes the faith of a Canaanite woman as "great" (Matthew15: 28). Indeed, more Gentiles will come to believe in Jesus than His own fellow Israelites. In their case, Jesus' words are proven true: "the last will be first, and the first will be last" (Matthew 20: 16).

The greatness of the Centurion's faith is manifested by His humility and by His concern for His slave. He declares Himself unworthy to receive Jesus in his house, acknowledge Jesus' authority, and is so concerned for the health of his slave that he approaches VIPs (elders of the Jews) to intercede for him before Jesus. True faith is like that; it is both humble and charitable.

Faith is the inner disposition whereby we believe in something that is visible and that which is invisible. As Anselm of Canterbury will put it: "faith seeking understanding" – that is, we need to have faith that seeks to understand.

May we have the faith that of the Centurion and plead to Jesus with the hope that He will grant our hearts desires.

Joseph Cardozo SJ | Contributor