The WORD in other words (2021) by Fr. Jun Balay, SVD (USC, Cebu City)
Monday 24th Week in Ordinary Time
Amazing! This was the reaction of Jesus to the faith displayed by a centurion interceding for his slave, “…say the word and let my servant be healed.”
Of all the people Jesus encountered that day after he “finished all his words,” a non-Jew came to him for healing. His words did not sink in with anyone in the crowd except a Roman officer managing a hundred soldiers.
We could ask a question, are we like the Jews who heard Jesus’ words but didn’t allow these to sink into their minds and hearts? What is the art of listening?
Pope Francis, in his Apostolic Exhortation to young people, Christus Vivit, gave us an example of how to listen. He cited the post-resurrection event when Jesus walked with the two disciples going to Emmaus. Jesus listened attentively to their disappointments and allowed them to open up themselves to him. In return, Jesus helped them to remember the meaning of his words, and they were able to experience the fire within and decided to go back to the community proclaiming the good news.
Have faith like the centurion had. His listening to the teaching of Jesus led him to open his heart and believe. Let us not be unbelieving and keeping our hearts closed; instead, let us come to Jesus always, sit at his feet, and listen to him.
Healing and miracles do happen every time we welcome Jesus in our midst. Most of all, like the centurion, let us do things not for ourselves but for others. Let us use our position not to gain personal benefit but to be in the service of others.