Matthew 8:8 – June 26, 2021

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.” Matthew 8:8 NABRE           

Jesus is met by a Roman Centurion, a leader in the Roman army. The centurion wants Jesus to heal his servant who is lying at home paralyzed. It would have been an interesting sight to see a Roman coming to meet Jesus a Jew.  Jesus presumes the Roman wants Him to come to heal his servant which would have been forbidden for a Jew. Entering the house of a Gentile, in this case the Roman soldier, would have made Jesus impure and forbidden to enter the temple. Jesus seems ready to go with the Roman when the solider says he knows about giving commands and orders being followed and so speaks to Jesus about being unworthy that Jesus should come to his home, if Jesus gives a command the centurions servant will be healed. Jesus is amazed by the faith of the centurion and heals the servant as He has been asked. It is one of a few places in the gospels that represents Jesus as amazed.

The Catholic Church has taken this verse and placed it in a key moment in the Mass. The priest takes the bread and wine and says specific words inviting Jesus to enter them becoming His Body and Blood. At a sacred moment the people look at the raised bread and chalice and say, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” It is an invitation for Jesus to grace those saying these words and make them ready to become worthy to receive Jesus. This state has been called prevenient grace, a predisposing grace by God through Jesus. Healing in this case is making the soul sacred for Jesus to enter. 

Do you feel worthy to receive Jesus? Do you believe Jesus can heal you?

Jesus is amazed by the faith of the centurion and heals the servant as He has been asked. It is one of a few places in the gospels that represents Jesus as amazed. Click To Tweet

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