"When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, ‘Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.’"
What great faith and courage the centurion must have had to approach Christ as he entered Capernaum. Keep in mind, a centurion yielded great power as an officer, commanding between 80 and 100 men. He was probably in Capernaum as an occupational force. During this time the Jews hated the Romans because they represented everything they stood against. The centurion certainly would have been considered a foreboding enemy. His truthful straightforwardness, especially to a Jew, would have subjected him to ridicule from his men and scorn from the citizens of Capernaum, but nonetheless he approached Jesus with self-assurance and humility.
Today, our faith in Christ appeals to a "transcendent reality," beyond the physical human experience, which for many is difficult to grasp. The intangibles have led many to ridicule the faithful and have led others to let it slip through their hands. It is difficult for us to place complete trust or conviction in things not seen. Our faith however, is the cornerstone of a meaningful relationship with God; it is a powerful force in the hands of the believer. In our faith we will find hope, love and courage. Perhaps the centurion’s power lies not in his weapons or presence, but in his faith.
Angela Kwasinski is the Director of Planned Giving for Holy Cross Province Development Office.