Scripture: 1st Reading: Gen18,1-15; Resp. Psalm: Luke1,46-50,53-55; Gosp. Accl.: Mt8,17; Gospel Mt8,5-17
Abraham received strangers warmly into his tent. He saw in these strangers great human needs: need for care, hospitality, attention, solidarity and fellow feeling. Abraham saw them as human persons in need of help. Little did he know that he was actually attending to heavenly messengers. Little did he know that his generosity was going to completely change the course of his life.
When we consider the desert environment where this took place, and the dangers involved in taking care of strangers even at that time, we would be right to say that Abraham gave these strangers a first class, five star treatment: he gave them "scarce" water to wash their feet, shade of his tree for them to lie down, bread, curds, milk, the flesh of the calf his servants had prepared.
Abraham did not just end it there. He served them. He became their steward and waiter rolled into one. He stood by while they ate to take their orders, if they had any! He was completely at their service. This extensive generosity could never go unrepaid. And that payback changed the entire narrative of Abraham's life. Till this moment in his life, there was just one thing that had eluded this great man: the blessing of his union with a child.
At this encounter, the promise was finally ratified and the date for the divine manifestation was announced. The Lord told Abraham that in the following spring, He would return to Abraham and that Serah his wife would conceive and bear him a son. It was understandable that Serah laughed to herself when she eavesdropped and heard this conversation.
This was a woman who was already past ninety years of age and whose husband was ninety nine years old. Serah was past child bearing by so many years already. There was no known human way she could conceive again. But that was only thinking in human categories. The divine way is quite different. When God decides to change the story line of a person, nothing can stand in the way, not even the naturally ordained course of things. Serah did not understand this. God's visitation that would change her entire life would convince her about this beyond reasonable doubts.
The centurion in today's gospel understood this! Our Lord described the faith of this centurion as great and said He had found no such faith in the whole of Israel. This centurion came to our Lord to ask him for the healing of his servant. Our Lord said He would come and heal him. This centurion told our Lord not to come to his house because he was unworthy, but that He should just pronounce the word and that it would come to pass because He had the authority to do so!
The Centurion believed in the power of our Lord to make a difference and change the course of his servant's life. He trusted that our Lord would use this power for the good of his servant. He believed. He trusted. He obeyed. Miracle happened. Consequent upon this, our Lord healed Peter's mother-in-law and all those brought to Him who were possessed with demons.
God promised to bring joy into the life of Abraham and Serah. The Son of God brought joy into the life of the Centurion who showed great faith in Him and all those who came to Him for healing. This is the awesome God we serve. Let us trust Him that He will release this massive power in our favour.
We ended half year yesterday and put the first six months behind us. As we begin this new month today, may God go before us to ward evil away from us, behind us to support us, beside us to strengthen us, above us to bless us. May this month of July be for us a month of great encounter and massive blessings from this awesome God in whom we believe and put our trust. To all those who will celebrate their birthdays this month, may God bless your new age and bring you an abundance of His love. Happy New Month!
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.