When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.” And he said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.”
When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” And the servant was healed in that hour.
When Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever; he touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she got up and began to serve him. That evening they brought to him many who were possessed with demons; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and cured all who were sick. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah, “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.” Matthew 8:5-17
At ever pow wow I have ever been to, we honor our veterans and soldiers first. We have a long tradition of understanding their sacrifice and their suffering. Being a warrior is not simply being brave, it is about serving all the people and protecting the ones we love as well as those we may not like. It is about putting others over self. And yesterday, Mother's Day, is a moment to honor those who are our mothers, who have acted as mothers to us, and who have served others rather than putting themselves first. Being a mother, however you define it, means being a warrior as well as a servant, committed to protect and serve the most vulnerable and needy. That's what my mother taught me.
Jesus is on the road and encounters first a soldier and than a mother.Both have dire need for healing. The centurion had a servant in need, and Peter had his mother in law in need of healing. Both knew the critical role these people played in their lives. We don't know what the servant or the mother in law might have said, but we know what they did. They got up and put others first.
Today, I ask God to help me get up and put others first. May we be warriors and servants to the least and the most vulnerable, putting others first and serving with joy today.