Jesus miraculously heals the Centurion’s paralyzed slave from afar. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Knowledge from the Holy Spirit so he can grow in knowledge of the manhood of Jesus and by building the Virtue of Magnanimity so he can set his sights on entering the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Liturgy

12th Week in Ordinary Time – Saturday – Mt 8:5-17

Commentary

Continuing to demonstrate His miraculous power through the performance of 10 miracles (Mt 8:1-9:38) after the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus enters Capernaum and encounters a Roman Centurion, a soldier who commanded about 100 soldiers. The Centurion, in a startling act of humility, begs Jesus for help, explaining that his servant is paralyzed and in great distress. Undaunted by Jewish laws which limited interaction with Gentiles, Jesus agrees immediately to “come and heal” the servant.  

The Centurion calls Jesus “Lord”, an astounding act for a Gentile Roman soldier of his rank and because Romans looked down upon the conquered Jews. In a further acknowledgment of Jesus’ Divine Presence, the Centurion, full of faith, asks Jesus to perform a healing miracle from a distance because of his unworthiness and because he knows that Jews were not allowed to enter a Gentile’s house (Acts 10:28). Remarkably, the Centurion has complete trust in Jesus’ authority and supernatural power to perform miracles from afar. 

Jesus publicly acknowledges the extraordinary faith of the Centurion; Jesus “marveled” (one of the few times recorded in the Gospel) and announces to the gathered crowd of Jews that the Gentile Centurion’s faith exceeds any expression of faith by Jews. Shockingly, Jesus proclaims that Gentiles will be saved (from the east and west) and many Jews will not be saved; worse, Jesus confirms that many Jews will be cast into Hell. Jesus affirms the Centurion’s belief and He miraculously and instantly heals the servant from afar. Later, Christ continues to Peter’s house, miraculously heals Peter’s mother-in-law’s fever and works late into the night, healing all who were sick.  

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be awed at the astounding Charisma, Authority and Power of Jesus: the Centurion, a soldier of violence and power, is awed by Jesus, due to His miraculous deeds and His powerful and manly Charisma, and makes the unheard of public act of humbling himself (I am not worthy); the Centurion perceives and absolutely believes in Jesus’ Divine Authority; Jesus, the perfect demonstration of Faith (though, because He is a Person of the Trinity does not have or need Faith) rewards the Centurion’s faith, supernaturally healing the slave from an unknown deadly illness from a distance with His mysterious Divine Power. 

Grow in knowledge of the manhood of Jesus

Realize: Like the Centurion, a battle-tested hardened warrior, men who encounter the real Jesus Christ of the Gospels are moved by His wisdom, power, and heroic manhood: sadly, because of feminized images of Jesus and poor catechesis which presents Jesus as mild, undemanding, and overly affectionate, and fail to present the full reality of His powerful masculinity, many men are not impressed by Him. 

Believe: Reflect upon the Manhood of Christ (CCC 423, 538, 557, 616, 2045, 2427).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Knowledge so You guide me to meet, know, and give myself to the heroic Son of God and mature in manhood by seeking to imitate Him. 

Seek to enter the Kingdom of Heaven

Realize: Jesus confirms the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven and describes the blessings of Heaven by comparing it to a great feast, where all those saved by Christ, gather in the Trinity in awe, fraternity, and everlasting happiness. 

Believe: Reflect upon the Kingdom of Heaven (CCC 543-546, 1852, 2816-2821).

Pray: Jesus Christ, Almighty God, help me build the Virtue of Magnanimity (a part of Fortitude) so I always strive to achieve the greatest and most heroic goal of leading my family and many others to spend eternity with You in the Kingdom of Heaven.