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Bible reflection: Jesus cures the centurion’s servant

27 November 2019

Each week we consider a Gospel reading from an upcoming weekday Mass. This week we reflect on the power of faith and the generosity of Jesus to all peoples.

Gospel reading for Monday, 2 December 2019
Matthew 8:5-11
'I am not worthy to have you under my roof: give the word, and my servant will be healed'

When Jesus went into Capernaum a centurion came up and pleaded with him. ‘Sir,’ he said, ‘my servant is lying at home paralysed, and in great pain.’ ‘I will come myself and cure him’ said Jesus. The centurion replied, ‘Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard this he was astonished and said to those following him, ‘I tell you solemnly, nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this. And I tell you that many will come from east and west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven.’


  • What was it about the centurion’s words that demonstrated his faith so clearly?
  • Can you explain why the centurion’s words are repeated at Communion time?
  • Why is Jesus’ response to the centurion so startling?

Reflection from
Monday, 2 December
Isaiah 4:2-6. Psalm 121(122):1-2,4-5,6-9. Matthew 8:5-11
Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord – Psalm 121(122):1-2,4-5,6-9
Jesus declares God’s love for all people

In Jesus’ reception of the centurion, a powerful representative of the hated oppressors of Israel, he declares God’s love for all people with tremendous force. Not only does Jesus show love toward someone who should by right be his enemy, but he reveals the very nature of God and his care. Counter to common understandings of the role of Israel and her Messiah in God’s plan, Jesus reveals that God’s people have been chosen not only for themselves, but in order that the whole world will be brought into God’s family. At the same time Jesus reveals his own divinity, making it clear that faith in him is the entry to this familial status. May God grant us such faith and enable us to take up with sincerity the centurions’ words for ourselves ‘I am not worthy to have you under my roof, but only say the word’.

Image: Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing, CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia commons


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