When he entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” Jesus 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 person 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.”Matthew 8:5-13
We know the words of this unnamed centurion quite well. His expression of faith is ours every time we go to Mass, before we receive the Body and Blood of Christ.
But stop for a moment to consider the limitless faith this individual had in his time of need. By every measure, the centurion holds power and authority here on earth, but those are only outward assurances; what matters is what’s in his heart. And, in his heart, he truly believes that the mere word of Christ could heal, that devotion and trust in Christ is the only way to be healed.
When I struggle with my own faith, I think of the centurion, and his act of faith helps me to simplify. I can either walk with God, or I can walk on my own, and doing it my way always leads to more grief and more fear. God is there for us, He wants to walk with us, He wants us to know He loves us.
The centurion’s faith was so strong that it “amazed” even Christ Himself! Can you imagine that you and I can amaze our Lord through our faith in Him?
By Kevin Dougherty