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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.

Jesus makes this comment after a centurion pleads with him to cure his sick servant. A military officer with authority over 80 to 100 soldiers passionately intercedes for perhaps a not-so-valuable asset in his command. Using his own military experience as a commander who effectively exacts obedience from his subordinates, he appeals to Jesus who, he believes, has extraordinary power from God and will not fail him.

Jesus recognizes the centurion’s faith soaring above that of his fellow Galileans and rewards him for it. His servant is healed as Jesus utters the powerful words, “As you have believed, let it be done for you.” Jesus does not disappoint the Gentile officer’s faith.

Indeed, the centurion has an amazing faith. Though a man of power and authority, he does not mind showing his helplessness in front of the people and his men. For Jesus, it is perfectly all right to show one’s vulnerability.

No matter how powerful, you still need to have recourse to Jesus for the impossible. Pray for an increase in faith.

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