One Bread, One Body - Reflection for September 13, 2021


"I tell you, I have never found so much faith among the Israelites." –Luke 7:9

Jesus is looking for faith (see Lk 18:8). He finds the faith He seeks in a Roman centurion, a man not a part of Israel, the People of God. Israel was covenanted to God as His "people" (see Jer 31:33). Jesus' comment to the crowd implies that He has been seeking that level of faith among the People of God and has not yet found it (Lk 7:9). Instead, Jesus found that faith outside of God's chosen, in the person of a Gentile Roman officer.

The Church is the new covenant People of God (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 781-786). What would Jesus find if He was looking for such a trusting level of faith among the Church, or among religious orders, lay ministries, apostolates, etc? Would Jesus have to look outside of His people once again today? Recall the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37). The Samaritan was outside of God's people, the faithful Jews who believed correctly. This Samaritan showed the level of mercy and compassion Jesus desired (see Mt 12:7), while His people did not (Lk 10:31ff). Again, in the house of a Jewish religious leader, a sinful woman provided the faith Jesus sought, while the righteous host did not (Lk 7:36ff).

If we are faithful members of the Church, today's Gospel serves as a warning to us. Just because we think we belong to the Lord doesn't mean that He is finding what He seeks in our life (see Mt 7:21). Let us repent, humble ourselves before the Lord, and beg Him for the Holy Spirit, so that we may be pleasing to God and grow in the love of God and neighbor.

PRAYER: Lord, "increase our faith" (Lk 17:5).
PROMISE: "[God] wants be saved and come to know the truth." –1 Tm 2:4
PRAISE: St. John Chrysostom desired to become a hermit, but God's plan was to elevate him to bishop.

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Reprinted with permission from Presentation Ministries, a lay association of the Catholic Church that focuses on evangelization and discipleship through Bible teaching, daily Mass, the charisms of the Holy Spirit, and Small Christian Community. Their ministries include:

· One Bread, One Body
· Daily Bread Radio Program
· Annual Bible Institute
· Discipleship Retreats
· Guadalupe Bible College