Before a humble person, one senses the holy. And when one is humble, most likely he/she is also simple, graceful, and grateful. The experience is even made more dramatic when one senses humility from an unexpected person, like the centurion in today’s Gospel. So much so that even Jesus himself is struck by his show of faith and humility. Often we associate humility only with poor, ordinary, lowly people. Those with authority and high social status are seldom associated with humility. This centurion is said to love his slave who is dying. He is indeed a different kind of authority! This should invite many of us, in positions of power, to reflect on how we exercise our function, and whether we truly care for our subjects, for those who are “under” us. Indeed, it is so uplifting to experience humility and simplicity from supposedly important, rich, or powerful personalities. Sad to say, though, they are very few. How do we handle power? How do we treat our employees, our subjects? Can we also say we love them?
GOSPEL • LUKE 7:1-10
When Jesus had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, “He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person 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 at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.
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