Jesus miraculously heals the humble and faithful Centurion’s slave. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Obedience so he can always be obedient to the Divine Authority of Jesus and by growing in the Virtue of Humility so he can always approach Jesus in prayer with deep humility.
9th Week in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Cycle C – Lk 7:1-10
After completing His Sermon on the Plain, Jesus enters Capernaum and is met by Jewish elders, acting on behalf of a Roman Centurion, a Roman soldier who commanded about 100 soldiers; they ask for Jesus’ help because a beloved slave of the Centurion is near death. While many Jews hated the occupying Romans and Jewish law restricted contact with pagans, this Centurion loved Israel and built a Jewish synagogue in Capernaum; the Jewish leaders, in gratitude to the Centurion, go and beg for Jesus’ help. Undaunted by Jewish laws that limited interaction with Gentiles, Jesus immediately sets out with them to go to the Centurion’s home.
As Jesus draws near, the Centurion sends friends to meet Jesus with a message that acknowledges His absolute authority with remarkable humility: “Lord…I am not worthy that you should come under my roof…But say the word and let my slave be healed.” The Centurion’s humility is shocking, for a Roman Centurion would not call a Jew, “Lord”, and neither would he beg for help. It is also an astounding act of faith, for the Centurion believes that Jesus has the power to simply speak and his slave will be miraculously healed. The Centurion, keenly aware of Jewish Laws that forbid Jews from entering a Gentile’s house (Acts 10:28), also humbly wished to avoid causing scandal for Jesus.
Jesus marvels (one of the few times recorded in the Gospel) and announces to the crowd that the Gentile Centurion’s faith exceeds any expression of faith in Him by Jews. When the Jewish elders return to the Centurion’s house, the slave is miraculously, and completely, healed.
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 stunning 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.
Be obedient to the Divine Authority of Jesus
Realize: Unlike the absolute obedience the powerful Centurion put in the authority of Rome and Jesus, today, many men reject authority because they believe it to be corrupt or it limits their desires; every Catholic man can come to know the blessings of moral clarity, divine assistance and freedom given to those who are obedient to Jesus and His Holy Catholic Church.
Believe: Reflect upon Christ’s Authority (CCC 581, 651, 668-669, 1063-1065).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Authority, help me build the Virtue of Obedience (a part of Justice) so I grasp the great freedom, peace, and happiness that is given to those who follow You, and I more fully submit to Your Divine Authority in every aspect of my life.
Pray to Jesus with deep humility
Realize: Because the Centurion is desperate and submits to Christ’s authority, he easily makes his request with deep humility, causing Jesus to “marvel” and He immediately answers the Centurion’s prayer.
Believe: Reflect upon the power of Humility in Prayer (CCC 2559, 2631, 2713).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Humility, help me build the Virtue of Humility (a part of Temperance) so I humbly realize my desperate need for Your mercy, I offer all my petitions with great faith and humility, and I gratefully accept whatever response You deem best for my soul.