MySpiritualAdvisor.com’s Mark Kurowski reflects on the healing power of Jesus’ speech. How does this impact our faith? How does it change our lives? Listen to this podcast of his reflection on the readings for the 9th Sunday of Ordinary Time. Please read Luke 7:1-10. #Centurion #Luke7 #Heal #Sermons #Homilies
Healed: A Reflection on Luke 7:1-10
For MySpiritualAdvisor.com, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday, 6/2/2013The 9th Sunday of Ordinary Time.
Please pause this audio and read Luke 7:1-10.
This Sunday is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, but I have chosen to do my reflection on the readings for the Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time because they contain the scripture from which the prayer of humble access is taken. It is one of my favorite stories from the Gospel of Luke, so let’s begin.
A friend of mine says that I confuse him. He said, “Every time I think I have finally got you pinned down, you move.” I just laugh because I don’t think I’ve moved, I just think that he is learning about radical faith. This is not to say that I think I am wonderful because I learned radical faith from those who went before me. They learned it from those who went before them. I come from a long line of people who have radical faith.
But if you want to pin me down (for right now) this is what we are all about: “I am not ashamed of the Gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1.16). You see, I believe that the Good News, the Gospel, of Jesus Christ is powerful enough to change anything.
Consequently, I never see anything as defeat for too long. After I have had time to pray about it, I am always reminded that the Gospel is ‘the power of God for salvation to everyone.’ So, life is never defeat, but always opportunity for the power of God to be revealed.
This is the message of this passage from the Gospel according to St. Luke today. We have a centurion who doesn’t need Jesus to walk up and touch his sick slave, all he needs is for Jesus to say the word. “Just say the word and he shall be healed,” Jesus. How does the centurion know this? Well, if the rumor mill of Jerusalem flew as fast as it does on the internet today, then the centurion could not have helped but have heard about the countless healings of Jesus.
Open your Bibles to Luke chapter 4, verse 35. When there was a man with an unclean spirit, “Jesus rebuked him saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” It did. in Chapter 5, verse 13 Jesus stretched out his hand on a leper and said, “I do choose. Be made clean.” He was. In verse 24, Jesus said to the paralytic, “I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home.” He did. So, the centurion, if he was listening to the rumors, knew. In fact, it says in Chapter 7, verse 3, “When he, the centurion, heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave.”
So, the centurion knew. But knowing is not enough. Great people in the Church are quick to point out to us that knowing that Jesus is the Lord is not enough, because even the demons believe he is the Son of God and has power. It is still necessary to trust that what you ask will be done. The centurion does trust that what he asks will be done. He even sends word to Jesus that he has many soldiers and servants and all he has to do is say the word and it is done because he has the authority.
The centurion knows that Jesus has the authority over demons and sickness. He tells Jesus, all you have to do is to “say the word and he shall be healed.”
Now, this is where we in our modern world will say, “Well, that’s fine for when Jesus was walking the earth. But we are without Christ. We don’t have him with us to ask. But don’t we say we believe in the resurrection? Don’t we say that we believe in the ascension of Christ to the right hand of God? If we trust that this is so, then we know that Jesus is alive at the right hand of God. If it weren’t so, we would say in the creed, ‘he used to sit.’ No, we say ‘he sits.’ It is a present activity. He is alive.
Because Jesus is alive, he can hear our prayers. Because he can hear our prayers, all he needs to do is say the word as he sits at the right hand of God and it will be so! This is the Gospel, my friends. Jesus lived, died, ascended and now sits as Lord of the universe. If we humble ourselves, like the centurion, and acknowledge Jesus is Lord, then we will know that all he needs to do is to say the word. This is power.
If Jesus says it, it is done. All who call on the name of the Lord will be healed. Why? Because he says the word and it is done.
What is remarkable about this is that it is the power of God for salvation to everyone. This doesn’t mean just those we like. It means everyone.
Even the prostitutes of the world can call upon the Lord and be healed. Even the drug dealers of the world can call up the Lord and be healed. Even the wayward teenager, the jail bird, the alcoholic, the unfaithful spouse, the tired working mother, the work-a-holic father, the racist bigot, the poor and lost, the rich and powerful, all of them can be healed. Why do I believe this? Because, like the centurion, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith.”
I believe that this world is changing so fast we cannot keep up with it. It used to be that the norm was the “functional family,” but not so anymore. Because of all the drugs, alcohol, lowering of expectations and lack of individual responsibility, the norm is now the “dysfunctional family” and the “dysfunctional individual,” if there really ever was a norm. We as the church have a divine calling to proclaim to those “dysfunctional people,” that they need only say the word and healing will begin.
So, for my friend who is trying to figure me out, he only needs to know this: I am guided by the sincerest of beliefs that trusting in Jesus Christ, the risen Lord, changes all sin into righteousness, all pain and sorrow into joy and hope, all defeat into victory. In his word is the healing power of God for salvation to everyone. Even us.
Is there something in your life that needs healing? Go to Church. Go to Confession and then receive the Lord. He waiting to heal you. Amen? Amen.
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