How to Be a Soldier of Christ

Matthew 8: 5-11

Is 2: 1-5/ Ps 122: 1-2. 3-4b. 4cd-5. 6-7. 8-9

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)

What does it take to be Christ’s soldier

To win the battlefield within?

All it takes is total surrender,

And for God’s gift of discipline.

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached Him and appealed to Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” 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. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, He was amazed, and said to those following Him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven. . .” (Mt.8:5-11)

Reflection

That Roman centurion should be our model if we aspire to become a soldier of Christ. As shown in today’s Gospel, he had genuine compassion for his servant who was “paralyzed and suffering dreadfully” (8:6). He went out of his way to seek out the Lord Jesus for help. The commander’s compassion was matched only by humility, shown in his willingness to beg for assistance, his high station notwithstanding. How many of us, under whose authority a hundred subordinates defer and obey, will personally attend to the needs of our servant when we learn that he is ill? Wouldn’t we rather put the burdensome affair into the hands of our assistant? Maybe even assume that the matter will be taken care of by one of our subordinates?

Being compassionate and humble, it was but natural that the man would also be respectful, as well as considerate of other peoples’ customs and traditions. When Jesus said He would go with him to heal his servant, the centurion responded, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter my house” (he didn’t want Jesus’ principles as a Jew compromised by entering a gentile’s house). Above all, the centurion showed great faith in the power of God’s Word.

Faith is not easy to come by. For most of us, it can take a lifetime to develop. It is, first of all, a gift from God to people who seek Him in their lives It is given freely to those who value the lives AND souls of other people as much as their own. It was out of faith that I came to recognize Jesus as God’s Word Who healed me of my iniquities. I had discovered that as long as I dedicated my life in the service of God’s Word, He would keep me safe and healthy, far from sickness of any kind, including sin. Having become active in the renewal since 2000, I have devoted much of my time in serving the Word of God – writing Gospel reflections for our breakfast newsletter, sending daily reflections thru SMS and email, giving talks in the Days with the Lord seminars, and Christian Life Programs in our chapter and in its outreaches, or Teaching Nights. I never thought it would give me such pleasure in all activities where the Word of God is concerned. Such devotion to His Word is the least one can do to reciprocate God’s gift of faith.

We offer You our life, Lord God, to mold according to Your will. Help us to discipline our base desires; bend our will to become humble, compassionate, respectful, and faithful to all Your commands as a good soldier should. Amen.

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