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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings

The Centurion’s Faith (Mt. 8:5-11)

Submitted by on Monday, 29 November 2010No Comment


  • Reading I:  Isaiah 4:2-6
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 122:1-2,3-4b, 4cd-5, 6-7, 8-9
  • Gospel Reading: Matthew 8:5-11

The story of the centurion’s faith is something that Matthew has in common with Luke (7:1-10) and is similar to John 4:46-54. As in Luke, the account of the healing of the centurion’s slave reflects on a foreigner’s faith. In Luke, this is somehow mitigated since the centurion is presented as a God-fearer (an anticipation of the figure of Cornelius?). In Matthew, however, the centurion’s faith is contrasted with those who are of "small faith" and is presented as something that even to Jesus is surprising.

See: You of Little Faith

In Matthew, the centurion’s faith becomes an occassion for Jesus to warn those following him of the possibility that the "children of the kingdom" may be left out of the Messianic banquet unless they have such faith (vv. 12-13). In the similar story found in John, the remote healing of the royal official’s child is given as the second sign given in Cana which is linked to the first one: a sign of the eschatological gift of eternal life. Note the correspondence between the two stories: the one with the Messianic banquet,and the other with eternal life. Both are eschatological. Faith connects one with the things that God reserves for those He loves.

Guide for Actualization

Just before communion we say: "Lord I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and I shall be healed." This phrase echoes that of the centurion and is a request for Jesus’ healing word. Before so great a mystery as that of the Body and Blood of the Lord given to us as food, we declare our unworthiness and ask Him to make us worthy.

What is true of communion is true most of our lives: God has reserved so much for us but we render ourselves unworthy of those good things. The centurion could not allow Jesus to enter his house because of his delicadeza, his awareness of Jewish ritual purity requirements. We know that the only thing incompatible with Jesus in our lives is sin. What are the "things" you find in yourself that is incompatible with the Lord?

Isaiah 4:2-6
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
2In that day the bud of the Lord shall be in magnificence and glory, and the fruit of the earth shall be high, and a great joy to them that shall have escaped of Israel.
3And it shall come to pass, that every one that shall be left in Sion, and that shall remain in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, every one that is written in life in Jerusalem.
4If the Lord shall wash away the filth of the daughters of Sion, and shall wash away the blood of Jerusalem out of the midst thereof, by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
5And the Lord will create upon every place of mount Sion, and where he is called upon, a cloud by day, and a smoke and the brightness of a flaming fire in the night: for over all the glory shall be a protection.
6And there shall be a tabernacle for a shade in the daytime from the heat, and for a security and covert from the whirlwind, and from rain.
Psalm 122:1-2,3-4
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord.
2Our feet were standing in thy courts, O Jerusalem.
3Jerusalem, which is built as a city, which is compact together.
4For thither did the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord: the testimony of Israel, to praise the name of the Lord.
Matthew 8:5-11
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
5And when he had entered into Capharnaum, there came to him a centurion, beseeching him,
6And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, and is grieviously tormented.
7And Jesus saith to him: I will come and heal him.
8And the centurion making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof: but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.
9For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this, Go, and he goeth, and to another, Come, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
10And Jesus hearing this, marvelled; and said to them that followed him: Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel.
11And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven:
John 4:46-54
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
46He came again therefore into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain ruler, whose son was sick at Capharnaum.
47He having heard that Jesus was come from Judea into Galilee, went to him, and prayed him to come down, and heal his son; for he was at the point of death.
48Jesus therefore said to him: Unless you see signs and wonders, you believe not.
49The ruler saith to him: Lord, come down before that my son die.
50Jesus saith to him: Go thy way; thy son liveth. The man believed the word which Jesus said to him, and went his way.
51And as he was going down, his servants met him; and they brought word, saying, that his son lived.
52He asked therefore of them the hour wherein he grew better. And they said to him: Yesterday, at the seventh hour, the fever left him.
53The father therefore knew, that it was at the same hour that Jesus said to him, Thy son liveth; and himself believed, and his whole house.
54This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judea into Galilee.

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