Father Rodney Torbic

June 11 / 24, 2018

The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Matthew 8:5-13

And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto Him a centurion, beseeching Him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour. (KJV)

The current Gospel comes to believers the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost each year. The Gospel is a lesson in strong faith. The Gospel demonstrates the concern of a centurion for his servant.

This can be a lesson in employer-employee relations. Each person hearing this Gospel reading does well to consider the strength of his or her personal faith. Steps to strengthen personal faith can be initiated as a result of the present Gospel.

Faith is strengthened by becoming more knowledgeable about God. Faith is strengthened by increasing familiarity with the documented healings in the Holy Scriptures.

Readers of Church history will find additional references to healings having taken place. Holy Confession heals the hearts, minds, and souls of believers. Holy Communion has a healing power for which there is no equal.

Holy Communion brings complete peace and joy to the believer. Holy Unction brings healing to the soul and to the body. The current Gospel will affect the minds of attentive listeners.

Attentive listeners will take direct action as a result of the present Gospel. The centurionís servant experienced not only physical afflictions but also mental torment.

How a person responds to physical afflictions depends on the personís faith and integrity of soul. Some individuals are at peace even when having horrific physical conditions.

Some individuals increase in faith and unity with Christ due to a serious medical condition. Individuals without faith and with no interest in faith may become despondent and negative about life when a physical affliction occurs.

Individuals strong in faith and at peace when having physical ailments are an inspiration and help to others. The actions a person takes when having a difficult physical condition will directly affect others.

In the present Gospel the centurion was moved to help his servant. The centurion reflects an attitude of concern. The centurion took the initiative to come to the Lord Jesus Christ for assistance.

He did not let the servant languish or suffer further without taking action. The centurion apparently had an element of hope and belief that the Lord Jesus Christ could heal his servant.

The Gospel does not mention what prior knowledge or understanding caused the centurion to approach Jesus. From his comment about authority, the centurion looked upon the Lord Jesus Christ as authoritative.

The centurion felt Jesusí word was sufficient to make a difference in the life of his servant. The Holy Gospel contains the known words of Jesus and has been making a difference in lives for centuries. Individuals taking the Gospel to heart have their lives changed and renewed beyond measure.

Jesus responded to the centurionís pleas. Jesus was direct and reassuring with the centurion. The centurion could have not expected a better response. The servant would be healed due to the pleading of the centurion and the mercy of God.

Individuals seeking healing do well to approach the Lord Jesus Christ in faith and in humility. An open and welcoming heart and a resoluteness of faith are beneficial when a believer draws closer to Christ seeking healing.

The Lord Jesus Christ has the power to heal whomever He chooses. Individuals seeking healing have a responsibility to bring their lives into line with the teachings, values and standards of Christ.

Individuals seeking healing have a responsibility to be willing to live in ways pleasing to Christ. Christ is due continuous gratitude when healings occur and prayers are answered.

The healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ merits a continuous place in the heart and mind of the believer. Believers need healing of the proclivity to sin. Believers need healing of soul and body.

Believers need the presence of hope when despondency, depression or despair make their presence felt. Christís demonstrated and documented healing power provides a basis for the expectation of a believerís renewal.

Christís healing power establishes enduring hope. If the blind man can receive his sight (Jn. 9:1-38), if the centurionís servant can be healed, if the deaf can begin to hear and lepers are cleansed (Lk. 7:22) there is always reason to hope.

June 11 / 24, 2018
The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost.
Holy Apostles Batholomew and Barnabas.

Fr. Rodney Torbic
Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania

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