BUBBA AND BUBBETTE
Saturday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Scriptural Readings: Lamentations 2:2, 10-14, 18-19; Psalms 74:1b-2, 3-5, 6-7, 20-2; Matthew 8:5-17
My dear encountered couples:
“I am not worthy to have you under my roof.” That is what the centurion said to Jesus when he came to ask him to cure his serving boy. Why didn’t the Roman official want Jesus in his house? Was he prejudiced against Jews? “Sir, my serving boy is at home paralyzed, suffering painfully.” “I will come and cure him,” Jesus answered. “I am not worthy to have you under my roof. Just give an order and my boy will get better.”
Not only did this centurion have faith in Jesus, he was being extremely considerate by not putting him in a tough spot. For a Jew to enter the house of a Gentile was to contract what was called “legal impurity.” No Jew was allowed to go into the home of any Gentile and the centurion knew this. There was not any inhospitality on his part that he did not want Jesus to come into his home; it was out of consideration for Jesus.
Do we realize how charitable it is never to put anyone in an embarrassing position?
Ever run into someone you haven’t seen for a while and you can’t think of their name? And they sense it? “You don’t remember my name, do you?” they ask. You stutter around for a while and hesitate to admit it. Maybe you say, “Of course I do.” “Then what is it?” they ask. You have been put on the spot, your face begins to redden, and you wish you could disappear.
How could that person be so uncharitable? This may be a very minor thing, even comical, but I hope I made my point.
The centurion not only had faith in Jesus, he was kind enough not to put him on the spot. We must never deliberately do that to anyone either. Can anyone really be a good Christian if not first a considerate person?
By the way, if anyone does that to you, just call him “Bubba.” What if it’s a woman? Try “Bubbette.”