Daily Gospel Reflection: Monday of the First Week of Advent
Bishop Robert Barron
December 4, 2023
Monday of the First Week of Advent
Gospel: Mt 8:5-11
When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully." He said to him, "I will come and cure him." The centurion said in reply, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, "Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven."
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in our Gospel today, a Roman centurion comes to Jesus and says, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully. . . . I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.”
Any objective observer would say, “Well, this is ridiculous! What this man is asking is impossible.” He is not only asking that his servant might be cured; he is asking that he be cured at a distance, with simply a word. He’s at the limit of what he could possibly know or control or measure. And yet he trusts; he has faith.
Søren Kierkegaard defined faith as “a passion for the impossible.” Is God opposed to reason? Absolutely not; God gave us the gift of reason. Does God want us to be unrealistic? No; he wants us to use all of our powers of imagination and analysis. But faith goes beyond reason; it is a passion for what reason can’t see.
That centurion had a passion for the impossible. And that’s why Jesus says to him, in some of the highest praise you’ll find in the Gospel, “In no one in Israel have I found such faith.”