The Gospel Today
Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs
When Jesus had finished all his words to the people,
he entered Capernaum.
A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die,
and he was valuable to him.
When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him,
asking him to come and save the life of his slave.
They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying,
“He deserves to have you do this for him,
for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.”
And Jesus went with them,
but when he was only a short distance from the house,
the centurion sent friends to tell him,
“Lord, do not trouble yourself,
for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.
Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you;
but say the word and let my servant 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 at him
and, turning, said to the crowd following him,
“I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”
When the messengers returned to the house,
they found the slave in good health.
Reflection (Sem. Jorge A. Santiago):
During the time of Jesus, the position of a Roman centurion was very important. They were the support of the Roman army, which were always depicted as those who were courageous, reliable, strong, dignified and willing to die at their posts. They were officers of many soldiers who were apparently subjected to them. But the Jews hated them because their loyalty was of course, to the Romans.
It is interesting to see how Jesus became amazed with the centurion in our Gospel today. Obviously, Jesus did not look on the character of what a centurion should be. Instead, He looked at his disposition and faith. Jesus did not care about his might, his ability to command soldiers, and his dignity as a centurion. What makes this centurion different from others? He is a man with an extra ordinary love for his slave. Because during that time, the slaves were treated like an animal rather than human beings, but the centurion treated his slave with love and respect. That is why with all humility, he approached Jesus to ask Him to heal his slave. The centurion did not even worry about what other centurions would say or the scorn of the Jews, all he wanted was his slave to be cured.
When was the last time we approached Jesus for the healing of someone dear to us? Did we approach Him with all humility and faith? It is an invitation for all of us that whenever we need something to Jesus, we need to ask Him with a faith-filled heart. Confident that He will answer our prayer because we love the person we are praying for. Let us remember that Jesus will not look at our might but rather, He will look at our inner disposition and faith.