Dec. 4: At your service

First Monday of Advent, Dec. 4

Advertisement

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” (Mt 8:5-7).

The pain of the world is always with us. We see it in the desperate faces of those who have no homes, in the vacant eyes of those gripped by addiction, in the cowering stances of those who have suffered violence and abuse. More pain: the death of someone dear, family troubles, the onset of serious illness. How do we respond to such ever-present need? In today’s Gospel, Jesus shows us how: immediately, compassionately and humbly.

Most readings of this passage focus on the centurion’s humility. But he is not the only humble actor in the drama. To the intercession of this Roman military officer on behalf of his lowly servant, Christ responds instantly: “I will come and cure him.” And the Greek verb he uses for “cure,” therapeuo, is associated with menial service, with waiting upon (or worshipping) a superior. (Later in the passage, the centurion employs a different verb for healing, one that lacks these connotations of servitude.)

This is a strikingly humble statement from the Lord of the universe. Like the mighty angel who reassured John of Patmos in the Book of Revelation,“I am your fellow servant,” Jesus declares solidarity with those who suffer, and attends to them with great compassion. Through serving the servant, of course, he also honors God. For in the Christian life, as British mystic Evelyn Underhill observed, “We are all serving on one Staff,” and God is the master.

Christ does not hesitate to place himself in the service of those who need him, whoever they happen to be. And when today’s equivalent of centurions and servants present themselves to us, neither should we.

Prayer: Merciful Lord, grant that I might offer myself in service to others—immediately, compassionately and humbly. Amen.

For today’s readings, click here.

 

America offers a weekly newsletter featuring current scripture reflections and material from our archives, focusing on the upcoming Sunday readings. To sign up to receive this newsletter, click here. 

cuwe cuwe11
1 week 5 days ago

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
M­y P­a­rt ti­m­e wo­rk w­it­h FA­CEB­OO­K Im ma­ki­ng o­ve­r $2­0­00 a m­o­n­th wor­ki­­ng l­ow mai­nt­e­nan­ce. I c­on­tin­ue­d h­ea­r­ing o­th­­er indi­v­idu­als d­isc­l­ose t­o m­e ho­w m­u­ch c­a­sh t­h­e­y c­a­n m­a­k­e o­n­li­n­e s­o I c­h­­os­e t­o i­­n­ve­stiga­te i­t. A­l­l t­h­i­n­g­s c­o­ns­­i­­d­e­­re­d, i­t w­a­s a­­ll v­a­l­i­d a­n­d h­a­s c­o­m­p­l­e­t­e­l­y c­h­a­n­g­e­d m­y l­i­f­e. F­o­r m­or­e i­n­f­o­r­m­a­t­i­o­n v­i­s­i­t b­e­l­o­w ­l­i­n­k a­n­d tap on ► Ec­o­n­o­m­y o­r ► Ma­r­ke­t N­e­w­s.

H­E­R­E ▬▬▬► www.jobstoday60.com

Mike Johnakin
1 week 5 days ago

Thank you for your reflection and the emphasis on service to the poor.

Lisa Weber
1 week 5 days ago

The picture is screechingly off target. Pictured are servants to the wealthy and most of them are women. Servant to the poor is more like Pope Francis washing the feet of prisoners.

Advertisement
More: Advent / Scripture

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Homeless people are seen in Washington June 22. Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Fla., chair of the U.S. bishops' domestic policy committee, released a statement Nov. 17 proclaiming that the House of Representatives "ignored impacts to the poor and families" in passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act the previous day. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
The United States is thwarting the advancement of millions of its citizens, a UN rapporteur says.
Kevin ClarkeDecember 16, 2017
Why not tax individuals for what they take out of society instead of what they contribute?
Paul D. McNelis, S.J.December 15, 2017
Pope Francis will renew the mandate of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors for another three years, informed sources told America this week.
Gerard O’ConnellDecember 15, 2017
Worshippers recite the Lord's Prayer during Mass at Corpus Christi Church in Mineola, N.Y., on Oct. 13. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)
Making ancient Scripture sensible in contemporary languages will always prove a hazard-heavy challenge.
Kevin ClarkeDecember 15, 2017