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.” – Matthew 8:8
Today’s reading contains one of the most familiar lines from Scripture. But it’s amazing to realize that these words come from a Gentile, not a believer in the true God of Israel. As a Roman military leader, the centurion was in a higher social position than Jesus according to the customs of the time. Yet he had the humility and insight to recognize a truly great leader when he saw one, even though this leader was one of the people his army had conquered.
How many of us would be willing to humbly ask for help in the same situation? The centurion reminds us that radical humility and trust in God are a necessary starting point to following Christ.
During this Advent season of preparation, let’s learn from him and adopt a posture of genuine humility and willingness to learn, from God and from other people in our lives. Holding onto this attitude in the weeks ahead will prepare our hearts to receive the Christ Child with gratitude and devotion.
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.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.