Scripture: 1st Reading: Is2,1-5; Resp. Psalm: Ps122,1-8; Gosp. Accl.: Ps80,3-4; Gospel: Mt8,5-11
The Centurion believed in the power of our Lord to make a difference, to change the course of the direction that his servant's life faced. In the depth of his faith, he publicly told our Lord that he was unworthy to have our Lord come under his roof. This shows the depth of this man's humility and acknowledgement of his unworthiness and sinfulness with respect to the immense holiness of our Lord.
This sense of unworthiness was one borne of faith - faith in the power of this itinerant Preacher to do what was required. He expressed that faith when he stated that our Lord's powers knew no space and time boundaries. He made an analogy between his own power to command and order people's lives as he willed to our Lord's powers to effect that which he spoke by means of His words.
Such faith could not go without commendation. Our Lord rightly commended his faith when He said "not even in Israel have I found such faith." Our Lord further emphasized the universality of this faith and its power to bring people from different races, tongues, languages to the new kingdom He was about to establish. This faith would become the passport for entrance into the kingdom.
The centurion was gifted with the healing of his servant because the time of the Messiah, prophesied by Isaiah in today's First Reading, had arrived. The mountain of the house of the Lord had come to be established as the highest of the mountains... and raised above the hills and all the nations had come to it. With the presence of the Lord in it, the law went forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
In His first historical coming, He brought the prophecy that Isaiah declaimed in today's First Reading to fulfilment: "He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
When we combine faith with joyful and hopeful expectation, the Lord whose coming we await and whose first historical coming we commemorate, will reveal His presence to us. This is why this Advent season, the word of the Lord tells us to walk in the light of the Lord. This Advent, let us ask the Lord to increase our faith.
Let us pray: "Keep us alert, we pray, O Lord our God, as we await the advent of Christ your Son, so that when He comes and knocks, He may find us watchful in prayer and exultant in His praise." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always. Happy Advent of joyful expectations.