"Say the word and let my servant be healed"
How did the centurion win the grace of his servant's cure? «I am a
person subject to authority...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. I have power over those under me but I myself am subject to
higher authority. So if I, subordinate though I am, nevertheless have
authority to give orders, what could you not do to whom all authorities
are subject?» This man was a pagan, for the Jewish people were occupied
by the Imperial Roman army at that time. So it was as a centurion in
Judaea that he was commanding his soldiers...
But our Lord, although he was in the midst of the people of Judaea, was already talking about the Church being spread all over the earth wherever his apostles were to be sent (Mt 8,11). Indeed, the gentiles believed in him without having seen him... Our Lord did not physically enter the centurion's house and, even though absent in body, he was present in majesty and healed both that house and its faith. Similarly, our Lord stood physically only amongst the people of Judaea: other peoples did not see his being born of a virgin, or suffering, or walking, or subject to the condition of human nature, or carrying out divine miracles. None of these things were done amongst the gentiles and yet it was amongst them that what was said about him was fulfilled: «A people I had not known served me.» In what way did they serve him? The Psalm continues: «As soon as they heard me, they obeyed me» (Ps 18,44-45).
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