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Walking in the Truth – Monday of the First Week of Advent
Monday of the First Week of Advent
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.”
Opening Prayer: Lord, I believe in your abiding presence, I hope in your boundless mercy, and I love you for who you are. Strengthen my faith, hope, and love all the same, Lord, for you know how weak I am. Lord Jesus, teach me how to live in truth and humility as you taught us.
- Love Prompts Humility: One of the most beautiful things about this Gospel is the tender love the centurion has for his servant. In fact, the original Greek word Matthew uses for “servant” is pais, which was also the common word for “son.” The centurion loves his servant like a son, but he also recognizes that he cannot save his servant. This love prompts the centurion’s humble supplication to Our Lord. Often in our lives people we hold very dear to our hearts are suffering from physical or spiritual ailments. The centurion teaches us a great lesson–how to commend them to Christ in love and humility.
- Humility–Living in the Truth: There is a saying among the saints, verified by different spiritual masters: “To be humble is to live in the truth.” The centurion’s “truth” was that he had soldiers under his command and a large household; he was powerful by earthly standards and he recognized that about himself. As mentioned above, however, he also recognized his inability to help his dying servant. His temporal power wasn’t enough, and he was humble enough to turn to Christ for help. Only when we recognize our own “truth”– our capabilities and inabilities– will we be well disposed to humbly ask for Christ’s healing power.
- Humility and Faith: As Our Lord says, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.” The centurion’s faith was simply the fruit of a humble heart. Humility is like soil in which the theological virtues are planted, and it is also the water and sunshine that allows them to grow and blossom. Why? Simply put, humility is the recognition that everything, in the end, belongs to God, even those things (and people) dearest to us.
Conversing with Christ: Lord, help me to walk in the truth. Help me to see the good things about myself, and also those areas where I am still weak, so that I may humbly seek your help in my life.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will spend 10 minutes praying the Litany of Humility.
For Further Reflection: Find a version of the Litany of Humility here.
Br. Brian Flanagan, LC, is a seminarian studying classical humanities with the Legionaries of Christ in Cheshire, Connecticut. He is from Atlanta, Georgia, and has been in the Legion since 2016. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.