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Matthew 8:5-11

The Word of God

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress." And he said to him, "I will come and cure him." The centurion answered, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this,' and the slave does it." When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, "Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven."

Matthew 8:5-11
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The centurion was an officer of the imperial army, a man with power and status. He was begging a favour from a penniless itinerant teacher, and declaring himself unworthy even to entertain Jesus in his house. Jesus was amazed, not merely at the trust of the man, but at the fact that his love for his servant led him to cut through all the barriers of rank and race.
    • Lord, so much of my life is structured by social conventions and barriers. Give me the grace to listen to my heart and reach out to those that I can help.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Not many people could amaze Jesus, but this man does: he believes that Jesus can speak a word of healing, and that will be enough to cure his servant. Like the centurion, I may be used to giving and receiving instructions. Do I ever amaze Jesus with my faith?
    • ‘I will come and cure him’. Jesus reveals God’s compassion and shows that the reign of God knows no boundaries. Not only Jews, but gentiles from east and west, are welcomed by God into the kingdom. I pray to share God’s breadth of vision.
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    • This miracle is unusual for two reasons. Jesus was not actually present when the healing took place: he spoke the word, and the centurion’s servant was healed. The servant did not even have to hear Jesus speak the word: it was enough that the word was spoken.? Do we realise that when we speak God’s word, someone, somewhere, may find healing?
    • Nowhere in the Gospels do we hear Jesus express such joyful amazement. It is difficult to think of anyone whom he praised so wholeheartedly as he did this pagan centurion, a representative of the hated foreign power. This miracle reminds us of the all-embracing nature of Christ’s mission, and it warns us not to confuse uniformity with universality.
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    • Every passage in the Gospel is a revelation of God. Here Jesus reveals the compassion of God. He has been sent to heal illnesses. I imagine the scene, and then I ask Jesus to come to me, to cure me and make me fully alive. I relax in the compassion he shows for me.
    • I pray: ‘Lord, the centurion interceded for his sick servant. I now intercede for others who are unwell. More than that, I intercede for our sick world which you love so much.’
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus saw that the kingdom of heaven was open and inclusive. I ask that I may preserve the same breadth of vision and generosity in my outlook.
    • The centurion amazed Jesus with his forthright expression and his respect. I pray that I may learn from my life as I live in a way that I hope helps others to live theirs.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The centurion amazed Jesus with his forthright expression and his respect. I pray that I may learn from my life as I live in a way that I hope helps others to live theirs.
    • Jesus saw that the kingdom of heaven was open and inclusive. I ask that I may preserve the same breadth of vision and generosity in my outlook.