These reflections are a result of more than 40 years of ministry as a Roman Catholic priest. Most of these years I spent in the Diocese of Charlotte which covers Western North Carolina. Now I am retired, and live in Medellín, Colombia where I continue to serve as a priest in the Archdiocese of Medellín.

Monday, 18 September 2023 00:00

Monday, Week XXIV, Ordinary Time

When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, "He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us." And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. (Lk 7:1-10)
The Healing of the Centurion’s Servant is a fascinating story. The English translation is wrong: the servant wasn’t “valuable to him”; the servant was very dear to him (as the Spanish translation clearly states: “un criado muy querido.” Roman centurions were not in the habit of building Jewish synagogues. So when the elders state that the centurion is “worthy” to have this favor done, Jesus is curious. Then suddenly the centurion sends the message, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.” To which Jesus responds “I haven’t found faith like this in all of Israel.” Even though the centurion never actually meets Jesus, the servant is healed. And the church in its wisdom puts the words of the centurion on our lips before we receive Communion.

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