Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom
Today the Gospel of Luke relates the story of the Roman centurion who sends Jewish elders as mediators to Jesus to request healing for his favored slave who is about to die. Boldly, but humbly, the centurion, a God-fearing Gentile, sends the request …Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to come to you, but say the word and let my servant be healed.… (Luke7:6b).
The centurion innately sensed and believed that the power of Jesus to heal came from his love, poured out to those who believed in him, received him, and loved him unconditionally. Jesus does not force us to love him but instead asks us to surrender to the will of his Father as he gently guides us on safe and steadfast paths to intimacy with him. We are empowered by the grace of our baptism to live in the Spirit, follow his teachings, and extend knowledge of his love to others.
Coincidentally, today we celebrate the feast of Saint John Chrysostom. He once wrote, …he who habitually despises almighty power does no injury to the power, but inflicts the greatest possible injury on himself… (Foley, Leonard, Saint of the Day. Franciscan Media, 2018, page 229.) As bishop of Constantinople, Saint John wielded considerable power over the people. His preaching and example advised moral behavior and the just distribution of material goods among the poor, not popular behaviors of the people at the time.
Jesus was “amazed” at the centurion’s faith and his recognition of Jesus as “Lord,” a person with authority and power. No doubt, this was the reason the centurion’s words were chosen to use during the sacred liturgy to express belief in the power of the Eucharist to heal our souls.
When was the last time you were “amazed” by Jesus and expressed gratitude for his abiding presence in you and his power to heal your soul?
Let Us Pray:
Heart of my heart, I call to you; you hear my cry and support me, should you remain silent in me. I walk as in desert waste. You heed the voice of my humble request when I call your holy name when I lift my hands, O holy One, to acknowledge your power and glory. (Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Holiness by Nan C. Merrill)
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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