A Centurion, his slave and Jesus. They were all part of the scene in the Holy Land during the First Century, specifically around the town of Capernaum in Galilee. The Centurion crosses social boundaries and shows care and concern for his servant, seeking for his healing for he was suffering dreadfully. Jesus breaks down the racial and religious divide and heals the slave of the Centurion.
Oh that this scene would be repeated again and again in the Holy Land of today and throughout the whole Middle East. I pray that God sends people who will break down the walls that divide people there. It is not only the Jews against the Muslims, it is also the Muslims against Christians and Muslims against fellow Muslims. The walls of apathy and enmity that have accreted over the centurions have to be taken down.
The message of Christ is catholic, that is open to all. Everybody is welcome here. It is tragic how Christ’s Gospel of love, compassion and forgiveness has been corrupted time and again through the centuries and been interpreted as excluding some, based on their social standing or cultural difference or racial origins. Pope Francis has been leading efforts to break down these walls and make the Church as truly a place where everyone is welcome.
We need the faith of the Centurion and the loving and caring response of Jesus to heal the dreadful suffering of many in our world today.
Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
When Jesus 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.”
. . . .
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.”