A Daily Gospel Reflection by Dn. Ray Gallego for September 18th, 2023

The Gospel according to Luke (7:1-10) 

When Jesus had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, “He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come here, and he comes; and to my slave, Do this, and he does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

REFLECTION: Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya rewarded 2000 Chobani employees with 10% of the company’s shares, he announced this in person at the main Chobani factories in New York. The Greek yogurt company had humble beginnings in 2006 when it started production of yogurt in an old craft manufacturing plant, but now the company is worth an estimated of an excess of $3 billion. Hamdi Ulukaya said he would transfer up to 10% of shares if the company is sold or goes public, which means employees could take home an average of $150,000, and those at the company would longer tenures potentially receive over $1 million. Shares will be given to every full-time Chobani employee and are designed as an incentive reward to continue to drive the Greek yogurt company forward. Ulukaya said, “This isn’t a gift. It is a mutual promise to work together with a shared purpose and responsibility, to continue to create something special and of lasting value. (Article taken from the dairy reporter dated May 3rd 2016.)

This concept is unheard of in this world today but look at the incentive versus the reward, everyone wins. Everyone is happy at home and at work. There probably isn’t any drama or office feuds. And life goes on with new things to tackle.

This story of the centurion reminds me of Major General, William F. Mullen II, USMC who was in charge of 29 Palms marine base. He was the head guy, the top dog. He was a tough and rugged guy by his own rights. And was prepared to go to battle with his own men and women anytime. But yet he was humble and kind. When he spoke, you can truly hear that he cared for his men and women. 

He expectedly spoke about his Marine’s getting P.T. (Physical Training) and preparing themselves for battle. But then he spoke about being mentally ready. Major General was referring to his Marine’s having S.T. (Spiritual Training). These men and women were trained and prepared for battle through their own spiritual life. It didn’t matter what religion they were from, although he was a Catholic, he made sure they were ready through prayer. 

These two stories are about two powerful men that could call their shots in their life and really didn’t need anyone to make them more influential.  These men humbled themselves and chose to care for other people. Other people were placed before themselves.

In this story, there is something saintly about this centurion. He is a model of compassion and humbleness. Taking great pains on behalf of a slave. In those days, the more common attitude would have been to discard a slave once he could no longer work. Though an officer of the imperial army, he humbles himself and begs a favor of this travelling rabbi, Jesus. And by doing this, he becomes a model of faith, recognizing the authority of Jesus, who marvels at him.

This is what this world needs, and it doesn’t matter what you believe in or what religious affiliation you belong to. This world is starving for the compassion and the humility to put your neighbor before you which ultimately would bring peace, love, and joy.

ACTION OF THE DAY: Meditate on these two virtues. Compassion and Humility. Are these virtues that you possess, or do you need to work on it? Either way, ask yourself what you can do to be more compassionate or humble?


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