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November 29, 2021

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DG BookGospel: Mt 8:5-11
When Jesus entered Capernaum, an army captain approached him, to ask his help, “Sir, my servant lies sick at home. He
is paralyzed and suffers terribly.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The captain answered, “I am not worthy to

have you under my roof. Just give an order and my boy will be healed. For I myself, a junior officer, give orders to my soldiers.
And if I say to one, ‘Go!’ he goes; and if I say to another, ‘Come!’ he comes; and if I say to my servant, ‘Do this!’ he does it.” When Jesus heard
this, he was astonished; and said to those who were following him, “I tell you, I have not found such faith in Israel. I say to you, many will come
from east and west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven.



Although Jesus has preferential option for the
house of Israel, He does not withhold His help to people
of other nationalities and faith. He explicitly told His
disciples to go to the lost sheep of Israel only, but His own
example shows His openness to address the needs even of
those considered as pagans by His own people. The gospel
today is an example. An army captain of the Roman empire
begs Him to heal his servant. This must have been a special
servant close to him for he came in person to entreat the
Lord. Or this is a glimpse of the kind of person he is. He loves
those under him and takes care of them. And Jesus does
not hesitate but is ready to enter his house. But the army
captain knowing the customs of the Jews does not wish to
defile Jesus who will enter a pagan house, his house. He
begs him to say the word and that is enough for him. His
deep faith amazes Jesus. For even His kinsfolk steep into the
tradition of the ancestors and the scriptures do not possess
such trusting faith. Thus He solemnly declares that not only
the house of Israel is welcome in heaven, but those men
and women of goodwill from different parts of the earth.


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