THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2020
Today’s gospel: Luke 7:1-10
At Mass, prior to receiving the Eucharist, we pray, “Lord,
I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only
say the word and my soul shall be healed.” These words
basically are lifted from the words of the centurion whose
slave Jesus healed. There is much we can learn from this episode.
the centurion spoke as such, Jesus was amazed and said, “I
tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”
(v.9b). Now Israel was the people God had formed as His own.
But they were unfaithful many times to their covenant, and
would even reject the very Messiah that they were expecting.
It is so much like the people of God today.
are the new Israel. Christianity started as a sect within
Judaism, among Jews who accepted Jesus as Messiah, Savior
and Lord. Today one-third of the population of the world is
Christian, at least nominally. But 99 of every 100 sheep are
lost. Might Jesus say today, “I tell you, not even in
Christian nations have I found such faith”?
even the Philippines, which has a prophetic role to be God’s
light in Asia and even to the world. The Philippine Church
will soon celebrate 500 years of Christianity, in 2021. And
while about 86% of Filipinos consider themselves Christians,
most of them are not living out the fullness of their faith.
Less than 20% of Catholics regularly attend Sunday Mass. Might
Jesus say in 2021, “I tell you, not even in the Philippines
have I found such faith”?
Christianity today is not solidly founded on the Rock that
is Christ. How can this change?
we must know who God is and who we are. God is all-powerful
Creator, we are sinful flesh. But many times we act as gods.
We follow our own desires and priorities, most often contradictory
to God’s. Even when we pray and intercede, we dictate
on God. Today humans have become proud, and have rejected
God’s law. That is why many Catholics claim to be devout
while being supportive of abominations such as abortion and
was not the case with the centurion. In his desperation regarding
his dying slave, he asked Jesus to come. He had sent emissaries
to Jesus because he said he himself was not worthy to come
to him. But when Jesus did come and was already near his home,
he sent friends to tell Jesus, “Lord, do not trouble
yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.”
(v.6b). He must suddenly have realized that the great Jesus
he had heard about was now about to enter his home. He was
awed and humbled.
centurion knew his worth in relation to Jesus. We too must
realize who God is and who we are. He is holy while we are
profane. He is perfect while we are so painfully imperfect.
He is right in all His ways while we are often wrong in most
of ours. We are the slaves of Jesus but we often treat Jesus
as our servant. We are instruments of the Holy Spirit but
we often just call on the Spirit in order for us to have our
must humble ourselves before God, for indeed we are nothing
before Him. We are unprofitable servants. We are often the
obstacles to God’s work in the world. We are in dire
need of healing. We need to be built on the Rock that is Christ.
Second, we need to truly put our faith in Jesus. This is not
just saving faith, which is accepting Jesus as Savior and
Lord, but is active and authentic faith, which is living Christ
in our day-to-day lives. We must have the faith of the centurion,
who said to Jesus, “but say the word and let my servant
be healed.” (v.7b).
must acknowledge Jesus for who he isthe healer and the
Savior. We must acknowledge God’s power, to be able
to do what He desires to accomplish in our lives. We are to
have complete trust in Him and in His word. We must know that
God wants to heal, and only God can truly heal.We need to
base our lives on the Rock that is Christ.
Thirdly, we need to become holy warriors. We are part of God’s
army and are subject to God’s authority. The centurion
knew well what authority meant. “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.’” (v.8).
has made Himself reliant on His people to proclaim the good
news of salvation in Jesus to the whole world and to build
His Kingdom on earth. Jesus has already commissioned us, when
before he ascended to heaven, he told his disciples, “Go.”
He gave them his authority, even over evil spirits. He has
already told us what we are to doto make disciples of
all nations. He has already offered his life and friendship
to us, as he has invited us, “Come to me.”
Spirit has already taught us how we are to meet Christ, live
Christ and share Christ. To reach and help re-convert lapsed
Catholics, we must go forth as holy warriors. We help such
Catholics rediscover authentic faith. Then their lives can
truly be centered and founded on Christ.
Our house is built on Rock only as we let Jesus enter under