"I will come and cure him" (Matthew 8:7).
Hope releases new energy in us. We enter Advent with a familiar gospel story about Jesus' eagerness to share with us the renewed life that flows from his Incarnation. God is in the world, and nothing can prevent us from accessing the creative possibilities that come from being in touch with Jesus.
In today's gospel, a centurion, a military officer whose title suggests he commands 100 soldiers, begs Jesus to heal his paralyzed servant. When Jesus offers to come immediately to his house, the man shows his respect for religious sensitivities about entering a gentile house, and then he expresses his faith that all Jesus has to do is issue a command, as he does with his soldiers, and it will be done. From this scene we get the words we say before Communion: "Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof; say but the word and my soul shall be healed."
In fact, our faith rests on an even greater assurance that Jesus is already in our house because he is now one of us, our own human brother because the "Word has become flesh."
This Advent, national tensions and global fears have many of us feeling paralyzed. Yet, our faith encourages us to take up the transforming work of discipleship, for Jesus is already with us.