2 December, Monday – The Gift of Being Unworthy

2 Dec 

 

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Isaiah 4:2-6

That day, the branch of the Lord
shall be beauty and glory,
and the fruit of the earth
shall be the pride and adornment
of Israel’s survivors.
Those who are left of Zion
and remain of Jerusalem
shall be called holy
and those left in Jerusalem, noted down for survival.

When the Lord has washed away
the filth of the daughter of Zion
and cleansed Jerusalem of the blood shed in her
with the blast of judgement and the blast of destruction,
the Lord will come and rest
on the whole stretch of Mount Zion
and on those who are gathered there,
a cloud by day, and smoke,
and by night the brightness of a flaring fire.
For, over all, the glory of the Lord
will be a canopy and a tent
to give shade by day from the heat,
refuge and shelter from the storm and the rain.

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Matthew 8:5-11

When Jesus went into Capernaum a centurion came up and pleaded with him. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘my servant is lying at home paralysed, and in great pain.’ ‘I will come myself and cure him’ said Jesus. The centurion replied, ‘Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard this he was astonished and said to those following him, ‘I tell you solemnly, nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this. And I tell you that many will come from east and west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven.’

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Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof

I wonder what was going through the centurion’s mind when he asked Jesus to heal his servant, even though he was not worthy to receive Jesus in his house. He already knew that given his circumstances, Jesus had every reason to decline. What compelled him to make the request? Where did he put his faith in?

We all know that we all have our flaws. We all have those shameful things we’ve thought, those shameful things we’ve felt, and those shameful things we’ve done. And even if externally, we are doing the right things, there are times when our hearts are not in the good things that we do. We do so because of obligation. These things make us feel that we are not worthy of our Lord.

And indeed, we are not.

And this feeling of unworthiness could drive us to despair. After all, why would a good Lord love us? He sees everything in us. If we were given the choice to love ourselves we would even choose not to love ourselves sometimes.

Therein lies the beauty of being unworthy, because we know that the love we receive is really true and unconditional. Our Faith is indeed full of paradoxes. We have to die in order to live. We have to give in order to receive. And I think we have to be conscious of our unworthiness in order to delight in the Lord’s love.

Where did the centurion put his faith in? I think it is in God’s unconditional love. He believed that truly, God desires what is good in our lives. It is irrelevant to God that the servant lived in a pagan house for him to show his love. Likewise, no matter how dark and ugly we are, God still loves us.

I am still learning how to live this – that I am both unworthy and loved.  

(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)

Prayer: Dearest Lord God, please help me have the courage to ask you and to believe in your love for me.

Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, for making be aware of my unworthiness at the same time you are making me aware of your unconditional love for me.

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