THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2019
gospel: Luke 7:1-10
Our continuing call is to be holy warriors. And for our theme
this year, we look to that holy warrior, Joshua, who led God’s
people to take the land promised by God to them. He had told
them, “As for me and my household, we will serve the
Lord.” Today’s gospel is about the healing of
a centurion’s slave. But it is really about the faith
of the centurion. He epitomized being a holy warrior.
he looked to Jesus. Though he did not get to meet Jesus, he
exhibited all the right responses of one who has met Jesus
and whose life is being transformed by 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.” (v.3).
He heard about Jesus and he put his faith in him. And as his
slave “was ill and about to die” (v.2a), he was
looking to Jesus for life, trusting in his power to save.
He said, “but say the word and let my servant be healed.”
(v.7b). And though he was a man of authority, he knew who
was the greater person of authority, saying “I am not
worthy to have you enter under my roof.” (v.6b). He
exhibited humility before the Lord. “Therefore, I did
not consider myself worthy to come to you” (v.7a). Though
the centurion did not meet Christ, he had faith in Christ,
much more than even those who were the chosen people of God.
Jesus told the crowd, “I tell you, not even in Israel
have I found such faith.” (v.9b).
he looked to and cared for his household. Even his slave “was
valuable to him.” (v.2b). Slaves at that time were just
commodities. And if they were ill or no longer able to function
well, they would just be discarded. But the centurion went
out of his way to help his slave. He even used his authority
and connections, as “he sent elders of the Jews to (Jesus)”
(v.3a). If he cared that much for a slave, how much more would
he have taken care of his family?
he was already serving the Lord. Even though he was a gentile,
the Jewish elders said of him, “he loves our nation
and he built the synagogue for us.” (v.5).
centurion had not met Christ, but he knew Christ, and he was
in effect already living Christ. Here was a Roman warrior.
“For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers
subject to me.” (v.8a). With his faith in Jesus, he
was destined to be a holy warrior. These holy warriors would
bring the faith to the ends of the earth. Rome did eventually
become, as it is today, the center of our Catholic faith.