4th Sunday of Matthew
Matt. 8: 5-13
July 6th, 2014
Our disposition needs to change
The centurion was ashamed to go and speak to Christ about his problem; not that he wouldn’t stoop to go. He was also a foreigner, and for that reason, he sent some Jews to speak to the Lord. Within himself, though, he had such reverence for and faith in Christ that he didn’t think further about it. He considered the matter at an end (that is, the healing of his slave), since the issue had arrived at Christ. He did not wait to consider when and how Christ would heal his slave. The centurion relied upon the Lord with such trust that he had the courage to wait a hundred years! And for this reason precisely, he didn’t need to wait even one minute! And the Lord responded immediately.
We today do many religious things. But deep down we do these things as if we don’t want to face the truth of our relationship with God. As if we don’t want to believe in that which we are praying for, like we don’t want to arrive at what we’re awaiting: the mercy of God (And isn’t this what we’ve been seeking since we say, “Lord have mercy”?). But why? Well, because the thief that lives within us – our ego – undermines, with our own permission, all the spiritual things we do. Our ego wants to call the shots to God. God, though, sees this and doesn’t allow any room for it. God has our ego standing before the mouth of the cannon and wants to kill it, since it was for this reason that He died on the Cross – in order to put the ego within us to death.
It is all about having the right relationship to God. This is dependent, though, on our disposition. Our disposition needs to change: we need to start believing and acting like the centurion acted. We need to be left with complete trust in God without any anxiety or reservations. In the final analysis, for you to desire to get rid of that which oppresses you (for example, to be healed from sickness), is to desire your will to be done. If you receive things like the centurion, then you will begin to have trust and true communion deep within your soul with Christ. And then you stop working for the ego, who makes you “negotiate” with God so as for Him to do you casual favours.
Transcribed talks by Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos
From: Holy Hesychasterion “The Nativity of Theotokos” Publications.
Translated by fr. Matthew Penney
The healing of the centurion’s slave