Only Say the Word…

The WORD in Other Word by Fr Emil Lim SVD (Philippines) for Saturday 12th Week in Ordinary Time

Alexa is the new celebrity. Not a human being, she is the persona of a computer-generated artificial intelligence that can speak, respond and listen to commands. Just say the word and it will be done for you. “Alexa, turn on the lights. Alexa, play OPM music.”

The centurion in today’s gospel didn’t know that when he said “only say the word…” he was giving a blueprint for a 21st Century technology. I don’t know if Jesus would be impressed with Alexa as I am, but he surely was amazed with the centurion’s logic about a soldier’s obedience. Jesus called it Faith. Mind you, Jesus was not one who was easily impressed by any Jewish Pharisee, and here He was praising a man considered a pagan.

What earned this soldier such honor? For a starter, this commander had a kind, companionate, considerate heart. Not for a dear family member or a close Roman friend, but for a lowly slave in his household. He is a model of how a Christian employer ought to treat a house-helper.

Worth emulating also was this man’s humility. A Roman officer humbly pleading before a Jewish teacher was not something that Jesus saw everyday. With his status in the military he surely had a house bigger than Peter’s. Yet he proclaimed that he was not worthy to have Jesus under his roof. What an act of humble admission of unworthiness that is immortalized in our prayer just before Holy Communion? Do we mean it or even understand it at all?

‘Lord, if you will, just say the word…’ It is a simple prayer that, when said with the Centurion’s faith, is a very effective key to unlock the power of Jesus’ favor.

Source – Bible Diary 2020

BUY in Lazada

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