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The centurion’s servant

Gospel Reading: Mt 8:5-11

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 person 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.”

REFLECTION
LORD, I AM NOT WORTHY

This is the centurion’s response when Jesus agrees to go to his house to cure his servant. The centurion is a military commander in charge of 100 soldiers. Though he is a high-ranking official, a very powerful man, whose men could engage in a prolonged battle and defeat the enemy easily using the phalanx formation, the centurion has shown to be humble. In the story, he does not really know what to say. To discourage Jesus from going to his house, he employs his own simple and brief language as a military commander. “ ‘Go,’ and he goes.” “ ‘Come here,’ and he comes.” He asks Jesus to do the same. Jesus just says the word and his servant will be healed. For the centurion, his words may have been casual to him, but for Jesus, they are awesome. Faith allows Jesus to work miracles not only for us but also for our loved ones. When you have this faith, you show concern even to your least servant, and you pray for his or her well-being. Faith involves our emotions. The centurion pities his paralyzed servant “suffering dreadfully.” At war, he may have no pity when he orders his soldiers to destroy the enemy; he does not mind the carnage as long as the enemy is defeated. Faith in Jesus evokes what is human in us.

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Do you have the faith that makes you humble and human?

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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.

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