The Faith of the Centurion

13 September 2010 St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor
1 Corinthians 11, 17-33; Psalm 40; Luke 7, 1-10

Note: This is the reason behind the title of my blog. Almost in its 5th year.
The Gospel today is particularly significant to me because it is the title of my blog. When I decided to put up a blog in 2005, I named it after the centurion who had this great faith on Jesus and at the same time, a deep compassion towards his slave. The centurion believed that Jesus can heal over a distance. Jesus does not need to come to his house since he felt very unworthy. He believed that Jesus was like him. Since the centurion was a man of authority, his slaves will do everything he wishes. Jesus therefore will be able to heal his servant by His very word. It is not surprising that Jesus was amazed by this faith. The centurion is a foreigner, but his faith and his love has brought him to Jesus.

Today, this Gospel has become doubly significant. The blog celebrates its 5th year. I hope that the blog has brought people of different faiths to believe in the Lord, or at least, find that Christianity worth our while. I hope that over physical distance and even internet space, the words printed on my blog has healed many wounds if not the wound of ignorance. I have always emphasized my mission to move our belief towards an informed faith (2nd Plenary Council of the Philippines).

However, this Gospel that affirms that our prayers can heal people from afar has become a palpable belief to me. On the 4th of September 2010, a Saturday, my cousin and my nephew met an accident. Eventually both of them succumb to death. They were in Bicol while I was in Manila. My cousin was very close to us especially to my mom. We were playmates since we were almost of the same age. We were members of a cultural group that sings at mass. He used to say that we adopted him. While in critical condition, I have prayed that the Lord ‘would just say the word and they would be healed.’ I believe that healing is possible from a distance.

From the day they met an accident to the day they died, I was on my knees praying. The prayer was humbling: I was a sinner. I knew I had my shares of shortcomings and weaknesses. I knew I was an unworthy servant as the centurion. But because of my love for my cousin and nephew, I fell on my knees and begged the Lord for His words of healing.

But I did not stop believing in healing from a distance even though God took both of them. Until today, I will not cease praying for the people I love and those who need my prayers.

If there is one thing good about this experience, it is this: I know what the centurion felt when he approached Jesus.

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