Hello! I’m writing another post- my second in two days! Maybe I was inspired by my friend Mike writing an awesome post about why we call God a “He.” Maybe I just wanted to stretch my writing muscles so that I can become a writing bobybuilder.
Anyway, today I was re-reading the gospel reading from yesterday, which was about the Centurion’s servant. It’s a great story, even upon first glance.
“When Jesus entered Capernaum,
a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”
He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”
The centurion said in reply,
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant will be healed.
For I too am a man 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 and said to those following him,
“Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 8: 5-11)
Honestly, wow. I love this verse. Let’s break it down.
- Starting at the top, the centurion was pretty brave to go looking for a known rebel, whom the authorities didn’t like, to ask for help, especially when that rebel was of a religion that wanted nothing more than to throw the centurion and his countrymen out on their heads.
- Secondly, this centurion was concerned about a servant, a hired worker, probably not even Roman. This centurion would have had dozens, if not hundreds more where he came from. But he cared enough about this unimportant individual to go looking for a Jew whom his country disliked.
- This guy knew enough about Jewish law and custom to know that, were Jesus to enter his house, Jesus would be considered unclean.
- And then this centurion has enough faith to know, not just believe, but know, that Jesus has the power to heal his servant from afar, to merely order the sickness to leave, and the sickness will obey.
- Jesus heals the servant from afar- He didn’t have to touch him in order to change him! Imagine what Jesus can do for you, who receive Him in mass!
- Lastly, Jesus commends this man’s huge faith, and then totally blows the minds of His Jewish listeners by saying that people from the East and West (i.e not Jews) will be sitting with Jews in heaven, eating and drinking and having a grand ol’ time. That’s pretty revolutionary, right there.
As further proof of how darn important this verse is, we quote every day in Mass. Just before Communion, we say “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof. But if you say the word, my soul shall be healed.” A small word change, from “my servant” to “my soul,” but the sentiment is the same. Jesus can heal, we just need to ask in faith.
Love to all!