Today, we read another remarkable story of faith in the Gospel of Saint Matthew. Undaunted by the crowd, some friends of a paralytic carried him on a stretcher and somehow managed to open up the roof so they could lower him for Jesus to see and heal. For Jesus “saw their faith.”
Recall that well-known story of Jesus healing the servant of the centurion in chapter 8 – the pagan Roman soldier. (Many of us of an age can still remember that gruff actor Ernest Borgnine playing the centurion in the 1977 classic “Jesus of Nazareth.”) Jesus said that he had not seen such faith in all of Israel.
In chapter 9, Matthew reports two healings: the daughter of the “official” and the woman who had suffered from hemorrhaging for twelve years. She came up to touch the tassel of Jesus, hoping for a cure. Again, Jesus calls out her great faith.
Then, there is the witty exchange between Jesus and the Canaanite woman in chapter 15. Looking him in the eyes, she retorts (as we all recall), “Even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table . . .” “Oh woman,” Jesus says, “great is your faith.”
No wonder Matthew would tell stories of these characters and their great faith, for he was a despised tax collector. And Jesus invited him to follow him (tomorrow’s Gospel reading).
I suspect many of you — like me — have been inspired by several characters of great faith and love. Let us be grateful today for them all. You might even call one of them or send a text of gratitude.
Let Us Pray:
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of faith, and bless all those women and men who have inspired us throughout our faith journey. Bless them all.