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  My Witness

Vol. 4, No. 1, January, 1999

Letting Jesus Be Lord!
by Sr. Brigid Meierotto, S.N.C.

Sister Brigid This is the ninth in a series of articles entitled: "You Are Invited to a Profound Interior Renewal." We repeat the quote from the Vatican II Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity:

"Since the whole Church is missionary, and the work of evangelization the fundamental task of the people of God, this Sacred Synod invites all to undertake a profound interior renewal so that being vitally conscious of their responsibility for the spread of the Gospel they might play their part in missionary work among the nations" (*35, Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity).

In the summer issue of MY WITNESSES, we saw that the key to letting the Holy Spirit work in our daily lives is faith; the faith that trusts the Lord to come forth in our weakness with His mercy and love.

Three kinds of faith are vital to letting Jesus be Lord of our life: believing faith, trusting faith, and expecting faith.

Believing faith could be called doctrinal faith. It is the faith that accepts the Christion truths; the faith that believes the Father loves us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to save us from sin and death and bring us into communion wht Himself through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the faith that believes all that we profess in the Creed.

Trusting faith is faith in God's merciful care and love. God will provide and so I can place my trust in Him. No matter what happens in my life, I trust Him because I believe He loves me and has the power to save me.

We have all experienced believing faith and trusting faith in varying degrees, but how often have we been aware of expecting faith? Expecting faith is the faith that believes our God will act in power in every circumstance of our lives to save us and to manifest His glory in our midst. To have expecting faith is to expect our God to do the unexpected.

There are numerous examples of expecting faith throughout the Gospels. In Matthew 8:5-13, Jesus responds to the expectant faith of a centurion.

"As he entered Capernaum, a centurion cam forward to him, beseeching him and saying, 'Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress.' And he said to him, 'I will come and heal him.' But the centurion answered him, 'Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it.' When Jesus heard him, he marveled, and said to those who followed him, 'Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Issac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.' And to the centurion Jesus said, 'Go; be it done for you as you have believed.' And the servant was healed at that very moment."
The centurion comes to Jesus with the attitude of expectant faith. His action portrays confidence in Jesus: "a centurion came forward to him." he didn't hang back, or hesitate because of doubt or uncertainty. He came forward without fear of rejection or failure.

The centurion's words also express his expectant faith in Jesus. Matthew says that he came forward to Jesus "beseeching him." There is a boldness in his approach that comes from his conviction that Jesus can heal his servant. All that is needed is for Jesus to know about the plight of this man and that He give the order for him to be healed. Jesus responds to the centurion with the same boldness and conviction: "I will come and heal him."

Does the centuion shout with joy over having his faith rewarded? Does he say, "Oh, thank you Lord, thank you. My house isn't too far away!" No! he says instead: "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed." He expects even more of the Lord! The Lord's word itself will heal, whether spoken close to the sick man or at a distance. The centurion has depth of expectant faith because he recognizes the authority that is in Jesus, the authority to speak a word of command, and have that word fulfilled.

Jesus is overwhelmed with the faith of the centurion. He marveled and said to those following Him: "Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith...Go; be it done for you as you have believed."

As we contemplate this scene, let us feel the surge of desire within us to have the expecting faith of the centurion: "Lord Jesus, give me such faith to expect the working of the Holy Spirit in my life. You have only to say the word, Jesus, and it will be done because You are Lord!"


The following reflections are intended to bring this article alive for you as a valuable tool for your interior renewal:

First: Reread the article. Let the words wash over you again as the tide washes over the rocks on the shore, smoothing their rough edges to softness.

Second: Prepare yourself for prayer. Stand before the Father, realizing that He looks upon you and loves you. Pray the Our Father and the Hail Mary.

Pray: "Most loving Father, in the name of Jesus our Lord, I beg you to fill me with your Holy Spirit that my imagination, my memory, my thoughts, the intentions of my will, my whole person be for your praise."

Third: Take your Bible or this article and slowly read Matthew 8:5-13. Picture yourself approaching Jesus as the centurion approaches Him. Hear yourself beseeching the Lord, making your request of Him in expectant faith.

Fourth: Now choose your answers to the following reflections:

  1. When I approach Jesus I come forward:
    a)  timidly
    b)  with an expectant boldness like the centurion
    c)  with both doubt and desire
    d)  other ____________________________
  2. My words to Jesus are like:
    a)  the centurion's
    b)  a weak call for help
    c)  a broken record lacking belief
    d)  other ____________________________
  3. What I need to grow in expecting faith is:
    a)  willingness to change from a timid to a bold person
    b)  this kind of faith witness from other Christians
    c)  the active rejection of doubt
    d)  other ____________________________
Fifth: Pray the Memorare. Reflect on how Mary expected great things to be done for her and how our merciful Father fulfilled her expectations. Ask Mary to intercede for this grace for you. "Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence I fly unto thee, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother. To thee I come, before thee I stand sinful and sorrowful. O mother of the Word incarnate, despise not my petitions but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen."

For Effective Evangelization:

Let Jesus be Lord of your life by expecting Him to act in power in your life and in the lives of others to the glory of the Father.

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