Now we have heard the reading of the Gospel about the healing of the Roman centurion’s servant. When the Savior, at the request of the centurion, promised to come and heal his servant, he said that he was not worthy that the Savior entered under the roof of his house and asked Him to speak the word only. Christ marveled at the centurion’s faith and assured he have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel (Matthew 8:5-13). Note that the basis for the faith of the pagan centurion was not the Law of Moses, but the virtue of meekness, which he acquired, guided by the voice of conscience. To believe not casually or formally, but firmly, a person needs meekness. But this virtue is the most unacquirable. Usually, people enjoy commanding others or being proud of their own achievements.
How to learn to be meek? St. Symeon the New Theologian notes that it can only be achieved by careful fulfilment of Christ’s commandments. And these who do not know them, as the Roman centurion did not know, should be guided by the voice of conscience in everything. Why does a man become meek by this? Because he feels immediately how hard it is. The world, the flesh and the devil start to pressure a person from all sides for him to be guided not by conscience in his life, but by profit, and for the sake of it, to allow himself every possible slyness. But if a person, even when falling into sins, does not justify himself, but repents sincerely, this is the manifestation of meekness, for which God gives such a person a double portion of grace. But when a person is sly, justifies himself, then even if thanks to this he has gained the whole world, he still loses the most important thing – faith in Christ the Savior. And without real faith, everything in life becomes useless. All the saints by their life testify that all earthly joys and pleasures are nothing compared to what true faith in Christ gives a man if he humbles himself.
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, let us not be afraid and ashamed of this virtue, for only it will help us to preserve and increase faith in Christ and inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Amen!
Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds