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Heart and faith are the bare minimum to pray

JESUS,CENTURION

PD

Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 09/12/22

Lord, teach us to love! Lord, teach us to trust!

Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.

“A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave.”

In Jesus’ time, slaves were considered and treated as objects, yet this man reveals that he has a heart that goes against the tide. He loves a person who is normally only exploited and can be safely replaced.

Jesus cannot deny a miracle to a man with such a heart, especially since he adds an implicit profession of faith to this inner openness: “I trust you even without seeing a sign!”

This is the real miracle: meeting such a man.

“When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.’

When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.”

The Gospel seems to question us about two decisive aspects of our lives. First, does our heart work properly, or are we just opportunists? Do we really love people, or do we exploit them only for how they can be useful to us?

And the second aspect is this: Does our faith ask for signs, or does it trust the word of the Lord? Do we seek confirmation or do we trust?

Heart and faith are the bare minimum to be able to ask the Lord to lay his hands on us. How can a person who does not love and who does not trust, claim to be able to pray? Lord, teach us to love! Lord, teach us to trust!

~

Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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DiscipleshipGospelSpiritual Life
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