The Gospel reading from the Mass for Monday of the 24th Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 7:1-10.

After completing His Sermon on the Plain, Christ enters Capernaum and is met by Jewish elders acting on behalf of Roman Centurion (a Roman soldier who commanded about 100 soldiers). One of the Centurion’s slaves, who was dear to him, was dying and the Centurion asked local Jewish elders to get Christ’s help. 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 Christ’s help. Undaunted by Jewish laws that limited interaction with Gentiles, Christ immediately sets out with them to go to the Centurion’s home.

As Christ draws near, the Centurion sends friends to meet Christ with a message that acknowledges Christ’s absolute authority with remarkable humility: “I am not worthy that you should come under my roof…But say the word and let my servant be healed.” The Centurion’s humility is highly unusual (a Roman Centurion calling a Jew “Lord” and begging for help) and faith (believing that Christ simply needs to speak and the servant will be miraculously healed). The Centurion, keenly aware of Jewish Laws that forbid Jews from entering a Gentile’s house (Acts 10:28), may also wish to avoid causing scandal for Christ.

Christ 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 servant is miraculously and completely healed.

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

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Christ heals the Centurion’s dying servant from afar, without seeing or touching him; Christ has the supernatural knowledge and power to heal any illness simply by willing it. Re-read the Gospel and ponder, “How does Christ do this?”

2) Unlike the Centurion who understands and respects authority, many today reject authority and moral codes, insisting on the “right” do what they please. Reflect upon Christ’s Authority (CCC 581, 651,668-669, 1063-1064) and pray for Christ your King to help you to absolutely submit to His will.

3) Because he submits to Christ’s authority, the Centurion makes his prayerful request with humility, causing Christ to “marvel.” Review the importance of the Virtue of Humility in Prayer (CCC 2559, 2631, 2713) and pray for Christ to give you a humility in prayer that makes Him “marvel.”

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Souls in Purgatory

Virtue of the Day – Prudence

Corporal Work of Mercy – To give drink to the thirsty

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To instruct the ignorant