SATURDAY, TWELFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Gen 18:1-15; Lk 1:46-50,53-55; Mt 8:5-17
FAITH LEADS TO MIRACLES!
All of the readings today deal with faith in some way. In the first reading, we hear about a childless couple Abraham and Sarah, who were advanced in years. Abraham, our father in faith, sees something special about the three guests who visit him by the oaks of Mamre. He becomes a generous host to them. Recalling this event, the author of the letter to the Hebrews writes: “Do not neglect to offer hospitality, for by doing it some have entertained angels without knowing” (13:2). Also, the well-known Russian painter Andrei Rublev created the icon of the Trinity, full of symbolism, based on this episode. The three guests are portrayed as the three Divine Persons. This work of art is considered his highest achievement. Abraham is hospitable to God and his hospitality is rewarded by a miracle – the birth of a son.
The Psalm is the song of Mary, the Magnificat. The context is the visitation. A little earlier, the angel told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth who was barren, is now with child, because “with God nothing is impossible.” This song manifests her faith in God’s word. In the Gospel, we encounter the centurion’s deep and complete faith in the Lord Jesus, such that he does not need even a touch; he knows, like a centurion’s command to his troops, that the word is sufficient. Even Jesus marvels at his faith. At every Eucharist, we repeat the words of the centurion. He becomes a model of faith for every Christian.
In Sarah, we have a contrast. She laughed at the prophecy that she would bear a child. That would require a miracle, and she does not believe in miracles. She is a woman, well aware of natural or biological laws, but glaringly ignorant of God’s ways. But because of her husband’s faith, she was nursing a baby boy the following year. Let us try to be less like Sarah, laughing at the idea of a miracle, and more like Mary, Abraham and the centurion, whose faith caused a miracle to come their way.
Response: The Lord has remembered his mercy.
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