Claire Colombo Advent Meditation


Matthew 8:5-13

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When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress."  And he said to him, "I will come and cure him."  The centurion answered, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this,' and the slave does it."  When Jesus heard him, He was amazed and said to those who followed Him, "Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.  I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."  And to the centurion Jesus said, "Go; let it be done for you according to your faith."  And the servant was healed in that hour.

"When Jesus heard him, he was amazed."  We seek often to please the Lord, and we hope sometimes to please Him greatly.  But to amaze the Lord?  What spiritual, vocational, or intellectual acrobatics might such a thing require?  The mind boggles—until we look more closely at what the agent of amazement actually did.  This centurion, this Roman officer, this Gentile, this outsider to Israel, sought neither to amaze nor even to please.  Like so many, he sought a miracle.  But he sought it with understanding.  He knew his lot in life—boss of some and bossed by others—and he knew the power of a word within that lot:  "I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes."  These aren't boasts, but rather brackets.  My words work in small and human ways, He seems to say, but only yours—but only you—can heal.  The centurion acknowledges that his own small realm, his own low roof, can neither hold nor shelter that which bridges east and west to all eternity—that in which all earthly realms dissolve.

This is what amazed.

(And what amazes, us, as well, when lo, unto our little lot He comes indeed.)


Breadth of God, we offer you our humble homes and feeble words. Inhabit them and heal them if you will. Amaze us with your coming, in Jesus’ name. Amen. 


Claire Miller Colombo
Master of Arts in Religion Program - Senior