Today’s Reading: Matthew 8:1-13
1 When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; 2 and behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” 3 And he stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.”
5 As he entered Caper’na-um, a centurion came forward to him, begging him 6and saying, “Lord my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress.” 7And he said to him. “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the centurion answered him. “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave. ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard him, he marveled, and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.” 13 And to the centurion Jesus said. “Go; let it be done for you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.
Centurion: A Roman military commander of 100 soldiers. Emphasis falls on his ethnic identity as a Gentile who has faith in Jesus (8:10). According to Luke, he was favorable to the Jewish nation and responsible for building a synagogue in Capernaum (Lk 7:5).
Lord, I am not worthy: Demonstrates great faith and humility. Jesus “marveled” (8:10) that such virtue was displayed by a Gentile. These words are adapted for use in the Roman liturgy. Unworthy to receive the Eucharist, Christians ask to be cleansed of personal faults and place their faith in the healing power of God’s word (CCC 1386).