By Fr. Roy Cimagala
“When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.’”
This was the reaction of Christ when a centurion who asked for a cure of his sick servant told him not to bother to go to his house. It was enough for him to say the word, and he believed that his servant would be cured. (cfr. Lk 7,1-10)
The centurion explained that he himself has authority over his men, and whatever he told them, his word would always be followed. He applied this understanding of the power of authority, based on his faith in Christ, to his request to Christ for the cure of his servant.
This gospel episode clearly reminds us that we truly have to take care of our faith, because if that faith is strong and vibrant, nothing would be impossible, as Christ himself has assured us.
We need to understand that as the very beginning of our life with God, our life in the Spirit which is a supernatural life more than just a natural life, our Christian faith has to be taken care of, nourished and developed to full maturity.
We need to be more aware of this duty and develop the appropriate attitude and skill to carry out this responsibility effectively. We have to go beyond mere good intentions or being merely theoretical in order to be truly practical and vitally engaged with this obligation.
Faith is a tremendous gift from God who starts to share with us what he has, what he knows about himself and about ourselves. It gives us the global picture of reality, covering both the temporal and the eternal, the material and the spiritual, the natural and supernatural dimensions of our life.
It is what gives permanent value to our passing concerns, the ultimate, constant and unifying standard to all the variables of our life. The perishable things of life can attain an imperishable quality when infused with faith. What is merely earthly and mundane can have a sanctifying effect when done with faith.
By its very dynamics, it fuels our hope and prepares us for a life of charity which is how our life ought to be. It is also nourished and is the effect of charity, indicating to us that faith is organically united to charity, the very essence of God in whose image and likeness we are.
It is faith that lets us enter into the spiritual and supernatural world. It brings us to share in God’s wisdom and power. Remember those stirring words of Christ: “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove from there, and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible to you.” ((Mt 17,20)
Without faith, in spite of our keenest intelligence, we will miss much of the more important aspects of our life as we would only be restricted to the here and now, the material and the temporal.
Especially in our special needs and persistent human miseries, we need to follow the example of the centurion, and the many men and women, the blind, the lame, the deaf, the sick, etc., who did all to get close to Christ and to beg. Some even had to climb to the roof and cut a portion there to be able to be near Christ.
Let’s take care of our Christian faith! It’s on its wings that we can soar to heaven.