The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Saturday of the 12th Week of Ordinary Time is Matthew 8:5-17.

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

The Centurion calls Christ “Lord”, an astounding act for a Gentile Roman soldier, for Roman’s looked down upon conquered Jews. In a further acknowledgment of Christ’s Divine Presence, the Centurion asks Christ 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). Remarkably, the Centurion has complete trust in Christ’s authority and supernatural power to perform miracles from afar.

Christ publicly acknowledges the extraordinary faith of the Centurion; Christ “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, Christ proclaims that Gentiles will be saved (i.e. from the east and west) and many Jews will not be saved; worse, Christ confirms that many Jews will be cast into Hell (“outer darkness”). Christ 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.

Awed by Jesus Christ –  Son of God, Christ has absolute authority and power over Creation. Omniscient, Christ can diagnose an illness from afar and has the supernatural knowledge to cure all illnesses. Divine Physician, Christ has the supernatural power to change the physiology of a person from afar. Divine Judge, Christ reveals that many will judged as unworthy of the Heavenly Banquet. Jesus, the Son of Man, has incredible stamina, keeping up a grueling pace of travel, speaking and healing from before dawn until night.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Trillions are spent on health care each year on legions of medical workers, diagnostic equipment and drugs. Reflect on the truth that the Divine Physician (CCC 1503-1505) has the supernatural power to simply heal any illness with His Will.

2) A major reason millions of Catholic men are leaving the Church is because they are not moved by the false, feminized Christ so often presented. Consider the ultimate Man, the Almighty King and how the Roman warrior humbles himself before Christ. Commit to recognize the powerful masculinity of Christ and pray for Him to help you imitate Him in your life.

3) Christ confirms the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven and describes the joy of Heaven by comparing it to a great feast. Refresh your understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven (CCC 543-546, 1852, 2816-2821) and pray for Christ to help you hunger to draw near to Him to experience the joys of His Kingdom.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Virgin Mary

Virtue of the Day – Hope

Corporal Work of Mercy – To bury the dead

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To pray for the living and the dead