Advent has begun. This first Gospel story (Matthew 8:5-11) tells of a Roman centurion’s plea to Jesus to heal his gravely ill servant, and Jesus offers divine intervention. “I will come and cure him.” The man’s reply is bold yet respectful of Jesus’ authority and his power to heal. “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word, and my servant (soul) will be healed.” Jesus responds to the soldier’s humble words. “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.”
Every day during the celebration of the Communion rite of the Mass, we repeat the centurion’s faith-prayer, and like him, proclaim our unworthiness to receive the promised Messiah. We profess our faith in the divine Word to heal us. In this sacred moment, we ‘Behold the Lamb of God,’ acknowledge God’s authority, our need for healing, and anticipate with great longing an intimate encounter with our Eucharistic King.
Advent is the season that liturgically celebrates the longing of God’s people for the Messiah, “the promised one of old,” the word made flesh, the one who once for all, redeemed us from the sin of Adam. We begin a season of expectancy, mystery, and the rekindling of faith. The silence of winter’s nights invites us to turn inward and spend time in the sanctity of our inner room (Matthew 6:6), awaiting the light that allows us to receive and embrace with gratitude the healing, closeness, love, and beauty of our God.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard wrote: Our Lord sends neither angels nor ministers to assure us of his love; he comes in person. Love will have no go-between. He perpetuates himself only to tell us over and over again; I love you. You see that I love you! (As quoted in Magnificat Adoration Companion, page 67).
Father God, thank you for the gift of faith that promises more than I can imagine. Thank you for your presence and grow me in closeness to you. Thank you for the healing you bestow when I stray and when I am rejected or abandoned. Accompany me and protect me on the journey you plan for me. Above all, grow me in love. Amen.
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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