For background to this reading, the Roman army had occupied Israel for over 100 years, taxing Jews, forcing them into service and dealing out harsh punishment (e.g. cruxifixction) to put down rebellion. Jesus’ prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple came true in A.D. 70 when the Romans put down a Jewish rebellion; several million Jews were killed.

Despite the general hatred of the Romans, the Centurion (a modern day rank of Captain who commanded about a 100 soldiers) was friendly to the Jews and had built a synagogue. One of the Centurion’s slaves is near death and he sends Jewish leaders to ask Jesus to heal the slave.

As Jesus approaches, the Centurion sends friends to Jesus.  With deep respect and faith, the Centurion calls Jesus “Lord”, asking Him to perform a healing miracle from a distance because of the Centurion’s unworthiness and because Jews were not supposed to enter a Gentile’s house (Acts 10:28). The Centurion has a complete trust in Jesus’s authority and His supernatural power to perform miracles from afar.

Jesus was “amazed” (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 by Jews.  Though Jesus says nothing out loud, the slave is miraculously healed.

Awed by Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has absolute authority and power over Creation. Omniscient, Jesus can diagnose an illness from afar and has the knowledge to cure it.  The Divine Physician, Jesus has the supernatural power to change the physiology of a person from afar.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Today’s decaying culture encourages selfish independence and rebellion against authority while governments claim the authority to coerce acceptance of new sinful behaviors. Ask Christ to help you make Him the highest authority in your life.

2) There is no crisis in a man’s life that Christ can’t resolve, though often, God mysteriously allows suffering for His Will to be done. For your own suffering or the suffering of others, accept Christ’s authority and pray for His Will to be done.

3) In the upside world, the sin of pride is celebrated as a virtue. In the Mass, before receiving the Eucharist, men repeat the perfect humility of Centurion’s words, “I am not worthy for You to enter under my roof.”  Reflect on your own vast unworthiness and Christ’s great mercy.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Trinity

Virtue of the Day – Charity