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Healings at Capernaum

Gospel Reading: Mt 8:5-17
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, but the children of the Kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour his servant was healed.

Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him.

When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick, to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:/ He took away our infirmities/ and bore our diseases.

The Gospel presents Jesus as the merciful healer. The evangelist selects two examples and summarizes Jesus’ healing ministry. Jesus does not care whether the one in need is a Gentile, a Roman centurion’s servant, or the mother-in-law of one of his disciples. He is there for all, for both the physically and the spiritually ill. He forgives sinners and heals the sick – according to their faith.

Jesus continues his healing ministry in the Church, especially in the sacraments. How can we become saints if we do not have the sacrament of Reconciliation where Jesus heals us of our sins as often as we approach him with humility and faith?

How can we go through daily life and face the evils around us without the healing power of the Eucharist? Still, do we approach the Lord in the Eucharist with the centurion’s humility and faith, making his words truly our own? Lining up to receive Holy Communion can easily turn into a routine. The real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist may readily be taken for granted.

Jesus is there to heal us – but we have to do our share and develop our humility and faith.

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SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.