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Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm122: 1-2,3-4cd-5,6-7,8-9
Matthew 8:5-11


Who “walks in the light of the Lord?” Matthew’s gospel tells us the story of the Centurian as an answer to this question. You remember that he asked Jesus to heal his servant boy who was paralyzed. It was when he said to Jesus, “Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof. JustGive an order and my boy will get better.” That Jesus responded with, “I have never found this much faith in Israel…Go home. It shall be done as you trusted. That very moment the boy got better.”

It is easy to name the Centurian as one who believed in Jesus’ healing power. Jesus called him a man of faith. I see him also as a humble man.

Humility has gotten such a bad wrap over the years. In my parents’ era, humility meant that one deferred to authority, took a back seat, faded into the woodwork. One certainly didn’t choose the front seat, or pew, or to be the center of attention.

Humility also means acknowledging your gifts and that they are gifts. One recognizes a power – God – greater than self. The Centurian easily said: “if I give one man the order, ‘dismissed’, off he goes.”

He acknowledges he has the power of position and at the same time he is not worthy to have Jesus come to his home.

There is a fine line between humility and arrogance. How many arrogant people do you know? It’s easy today for people of power to separate themselves from others by arrogance. You or I could be that arrogant, rather than humble, person right now.

Take a moment to reflect on your relationships. How are you treating those you love today…or your friends…or your co-workers? Are you speaking as an authority and talking down to others? Are your comments biting? Is your tone of voice condescending?

If yes, why? Is it a restlessness or impatience within you? Or, are you afraid of something? Look at it and deal with it. It is trying to tell you something.

When you find yourself being arrogant stop and ask yourself, “why”. You and I can choose to be gifted persons who are humble and gentle. We can still be persons of power – of position, prestige or personality.

“Walking in the Light of the Lord” demands reflection, admitting weakness, turning ourselves around…with the grace of God.

By Joan Lanahan

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