In today’s Gospel we see Jesus beingdeliberatelykind to “the enemy.” Remember that Roman soldiers were an occupying force which terrorized Jewish lands. Centurions were viewed with disdain by the Jews. So why would Jesus bother to help this man? It is important to keep in mind that the centurion did nothing to earn Jesus’ healing power. Rather, he simply believed; he had faith in the healing power of Jesus.
The authors of Matthew’s Gospel are attempting to convey a truth which they deeply believed; namely, that faith in Jesus allows us be healed. We simply must remain open to the process. It is less about what we do, and more about the depth of our openness to Christ’s presence in our lives.
Like the centurion, we might ask ourselves, “What aspects of my household or my relationships need healing?” Then sit quietly and listen for Jesus’ inevitable response.
—Matt Kemper is the Director of Community Service at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati.