Only say the word

Published November 29, 2021, 12:05 AM

by Manila Bulletin


Reflections today

The centurion is an official of the Roman army in command of 100 or more soldiers. He is trained in army discipline; he knows the value of a word of command. He follows the order of a higher official and expects soldiers under him to obey his orders. Now, he applies this weight of authority vis-à-vis Jesus whom he sees as a great prophet of Israel. Jesus works with the power and authority from God. His word is a command, not just in matters of discipline but also in healing. The centurion would be pleased to have Jesus enter his house to heal his servant, but he knows that the Jews do not enter pagan houses lest they be rendered unclean. So as not to put Jesus in an awkward situation, he asks Jesus simply to only say the word, and his servant will be healed. He has such faith in Jesus. Jesus is so moved by his trust, and declares that outsiders like him will have a place in the Kingdom of heaven together with the great patriarchs.

GOSPEL • Mt 8:5-11 5

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, 6“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” 7He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” 8The 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. 9For 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.” 10When 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. 11I 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.”

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: