Always, there are signs that the Lord is coming, but we see the signs so often and interpret them so differently that we miss them. God is always making moves to bring us closer to him. He does not just sit and wait for us to make a move. He is always making moves, hoping that we will grab on to one and come back to him. He offers us his gift of grace which enables us to respond to his offers and be overshadowed by his grace.
In the story of the centurion, we see an example of faith working in cooperation with God. God, through his son Jesus, offered the centurion the gift of faith and the centurion responded by getting himself out of the way so that God and his healing and miracles could move, direct and heal. If a pagan Roman centurion could do it, why not us?
God is the one who shows us compassion when we get hurt. He is the one who loves us when we think that we are unlovable. Throughout the gospel we see and read Jesus doing the unthinkable and reprehensible by touching lepers and healing the ill. We can imitate Jesus by finding and assisting an organization that shelters the homeless and finds work for the jobless, educates the uneducated, and counsels the depressed. By doing this we are demonstrating the gift of compassion. The solidity of love enables us to reach outward to the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned. Let us then ask Jesus to enable us to hear his word of love and act on it throughout our lives.
We are compelled to tell of the healing, prodding, tugging that God works within us. Once we become aware of God’s work in us, the desire to share our good news overwhelms us, and we tell all. God continues to speak in our history our time, today. The word of God is heard through the voice of a person who calls us to compassion. When we show care and concern for relatives when someone has died, we have heard the word of God. A fresh idea that seems to come from nowhere can be the voice of God that has been heard. Reading the Bible and listening for a message of application to our lives is another way that God speaks today. Those who have taken care of the needy-the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned-have, without even realizing it, cared for Jesus.
When we practice Jesus’ humility, we know that we are last, like a child, refraining from thinking that something is owed us. Jesus in the Hebrew scriptures, came to help and saves us. We follow in Jesus’ footsteps when we offer a helping hand to an elderly neighbor, saving a child from hunger, or tutoring the illiterate. Doing these things and more, bestow upon us the name Jesus and represent God’s ongoing activity in time.