I am not worthy to have you under my roof

  • Patrick van der Vorst

Jesus and the Centurion, Stained glass Window, Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Zagreb, Croatia 1901 © Christian Art

Jesus and the Centurion, Stained glass Window, Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Zagreb, Croatia 1901 © Christian Art

Gospel of 27th June 2020 - Matthew 8:5-17

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; but the subjects of the kingdom will be turned out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.' And to the centurion Jesus said, 'Go back, then; you have believed, so let this be done for you.' And the servant was cured at that moment.

And going into Peter's house Jesus found Peter's mother-in-law in bed with fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.

That evening they brought him many who were possessed by devils. He cast out the spirits with a word and cured all who were sick. This was to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah:

He took our sicknesses away and carried our diseases for us.

Reflection on the Stained Glass Window

These past few days we have looked in detail at the Sermon on the Mount. After this, Jesus walked down from the mountain outside Capernaum, and when He entered the town again, He was met by a Roman centurion whose servant was so sick that he was expected to die shortly. Then the centurion spoke the words we say at Mass every day: Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. What a magnificent display of faith!

What is so beautiful about this story is how this centurion was one of the most unlikely people to amaze Jesus. He was non-Jewish. Furthermore, as he was a Roman, he was stationed in Palestine to subject the Jews to the Roman Emperor's rule. He was a man of war. He achieved the rank of centurion probably by his brutal military achievements… and yet is one of the New Testament's greatest heroes of faith… The story of the centurion shows us that Jesus came for everyone and that Christ looks at what is in our heart, and not at outward appearances or achievements.


Today's story - https://christianart.today/reading.php?id=465

Christian Art Today - www.christian.art

Tags: Christian Art Today, Patrick van der Vorst

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