The Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, and say, shall I bear a child, now that I am old? Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? I will return to you at the set time in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.” (Genesis 18:13-14)
Even though God promised Abraham that he would have a son by Sarah, this promise only became concrete after God visited him. This story teaches us the importance of showing kindness to strangers. Jesus asked: “If you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” (Matthew 5:46-47)
Abraham was kind to strangers when he had no reason to be; in return, he received a concrete assurance of God’s promise of a son. Avoid practising selective kindness. Be good to people even though they don’t deserve it. Show hospitality to strangers not in expectation of anything in return, not because they deserve it but because you are a Christian. Show hospitality to strangers; they could be Angels sent from God to test you. (Cf. Hebrew 13:2)
Jesus would say: “Treat others as you want them to treat you.” Learn to put yourselves in the shoes of others and see how you can help them. You may assume your problems are the greatest, but when you step into the world of others, you will soon realise that we just cannot do without each other.
Like Abraham, Sarah laughed at the possibility of having a child in her old age. This prompted the Angels to ask: “Is there anything too wonderful for God to do?” This is a question we should ask ourselves whenever we experience tough situations. This question should propel our faith whenever we become spiritually weak. Never think your present situation is the best God can ever do. There is nothing too difficult for God.
In today’s Gospel passage, we encounter a centurion who knew there was nothing too hard for God to do. He imagined that if he could command one hundred soldiers, Jesus could command the whole world. He believed that for God, time and space are not even barriers. He did not consider his house worthy enough to receive Jesus. He asked Jesus to just speak the word.
Jesus commended the Centurion for having such deep faith at a time many were still trying to figure out how God could take our human flesh. When we consider this Centurion was a Roman official, we are forced to wonder: “Could it be that we have become so used to God to the extent of taking Him for granted?” Jesus said: “Not even in Israel have I found such faith.” If Jesus comes again today, will He find such faith in the church? Will he find such faith in me?
Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, only say your word and my soul shall be healed. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen
Bible Study: Genesis 18:1-15, Matthew 8:5-17).*
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu