Amazed

Scripture Reading

When Jesus entered Capernaum,
a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” 
He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” 
The centurion said in reply,
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant will be healed.
For I too am a man subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes;
and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes;
and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him,
“Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. 
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven.”
(Matthew 8:5-11)

Scripture Study

8:5 centurion: A Roman military commander of 100 soldiers. Emphasis falls on his ethnic identity as a Gentile who has faith in Jesus (8:10). According to Luke, he was favorable to the Jewish nation and responsible for building a synagogue in Capernaum (Lk 7:5).

8:8 Lord, I am not worthy: Demonstrates great faith and humility. Jesus “marveled” (8:10) that such virtue was displayed by a Gentile.

8:11 sit at table: Alludes to an OT promise of a great feast to accompany the messianic age (Is 25:6–9). See note on Mt 22:2. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: Jesus hints at the universal spread of the gospel to all nations in the Church (28:19). ● These OT patriarchs are linked with God’s covenant oath to Abraham that all nations would eventually share his blessings (Gen 22:18; CCC 543). The covenant was renewed with Isaac (Gen 26:3–5) and Jacob (Gen 28:14).[1]

Scripture Reflection

What is it to be amazed? The dictionary speaks of something that fills us with wonder and awe; something that astonishes us. In our reading today we see Jesus being amazed by the centurions great faith.

The faith-filled words of the centurion are evoked in the Eucharistic liturgy just before receiving Holy Communion. As the Catechism explains: “Before so great a sacrament, the faithful can only echo humbly and with ardent faith the words of the centurion: … ‘Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul will be healed’ ” (CCC 1386).[2]

Like the centurion, we acknowledge our unworthiness to have Jesus enter under the roof of our souls. Yet just as the centurion believed Jesus was able to heal his servant, so we trust that Jesus can heal us as he becomes the most intimate guest of our soul in Holy Communion.

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV. 

 

 

 

[1] Curtis Mitch, “Introduction to the Gospels,” in The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: The New Testament (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2010), 20.

CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church – 2nd Edition)

[2] Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri, The Gospel of Matthew, Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010), 127.