There is a section in the Gospel of Matthew that all Catholics should recognize. In fact, it is such a testament to the power of faith, that it is recited by each and every one of us at Mass in the Liturgy of the Eucharist:
When he entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He 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. [emphasis added] 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. I 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, but the children of the kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour [his] servant was healed.
Today is Veterans Day in the United States and so it is fitting to examine this passage from the viewpoint of the centurion, a man of war. He demonstrates an understanding of who Christ is and where His authority comes from that is seldom seen in the Gospels. This centurion is not the only soldier in Scripture to witness to Christ, but he is an excellent starting point. What are some traits that are evident in this centurion in the face of Christ?
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