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Friends, in today's Gospel, Jesus is approached by an unusual suspect. A Roman centurion came to him and asked Jesus help his servant who was sick and in great pain. The Romans were mostly hated by the Jews because they were foreign invaders and unbelieving gentiles. Yet here was one who dared to approach Jesus. The Lord immediately expressed his desire to respond to this appeal and to come to the centurion's house. To this, the centurion responded by saying that he was unworthy to have Jesus come into his house or under his roof and that he need only say the word for his servant to be healed. These are the words that made their way into the Eucharist when before communion we say: 'Lord I am not worthy to have you under my roof but only say the word and my soul will be healed'.

What can we take from this episode of the Gospel? First, the desire of God to respond when we ask for his help. Second, those we think have no faith can have more faith than we have. Remember that Jesus' audience would have been shocked by Jesus' praise of the centurion's faith. This pushes us out of thinking that the boundaries between faith and unbelief are clear and as narrow as we think they are.


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