When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.” And he said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.”
When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” And the servant was healed in that hour.
When Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever; he touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she got up and began to serve him. That evening they brought to him many who were possessed with demons; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and cured all who were sick. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah, “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Let’s take a look at the final paragraph of today’s gospel reading: “As evening drew on…he expelled the spirits by a simple command and cured all who were afflicted.” We see here the concrete manifestation of Jesus’ invitation from Matthew 11 : “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” Do you and I believe that Jesus does in fact take on our burdens? Can we trust that Jesus really does “cure all who are afflicted”—even me?
What exactly are the burdens and “afflictions” I carry these last days of June 2016? What daily “labor” weighs me down and saps my spirit? Perhaps a frayed relationship. Maybe a family situation that I can’t seem to “fix.” Or even a financial or work or community reality over which I have little control? ….and so I pray and wait.
This last weekend of June, what if I hand over these family and community and personal burdens to Jesus? Can I trust that in the Lord’s own good time some response will come to these knotty challenges…perhaps a response I least expect?
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Life-giving God, I open my hands and my heart to your life-saving grace and goodness.
Heal my heart. Strengthen my spirit. As I watch and wait, send me your love and your grace. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!