Monday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary time
(I Corinthians 11:17-26.33; Luke 7:1-10)
Pope Francis has requested more consideration for couples in irregular marriages. In his exhortation The Joy of Love he acknowledges that sometimes people find themselves in difficult situations. Perhaps they had married without due consideration of what they were doing the first time. Or maybe they cannot leave a second union without causing grave injustice. Francis does not consider their cases as hopeless. Rather he outlines various possibilities to integrate these couples into Church life. In today’s gospel we can see the centurion in a situation akin to these couples.
The centurion who asks Jesus for help has shown himself to care about others. He not only is solicitous for his servant but also has built a synagogue for the people. He also expresses a faith in the God of Israel by seeking out Jesus, God’s prophet. One may ask, “Should he not become a Jew then and even a disciple of Jesus?” Perhaps he doesn’t because that would end his military career and the support he owes his family. In any case, Jesus does not accuse him of lacking conviction but recognizes his faith.
This gospel teaches us more than the desire to trust in Jesus. It gives us a glimpse of the need for understanding of those in irregular situations. It further urges us to dialogue with these people so that we may mutually enrich our faith and increase our love.