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Prima pagină » CREDO » CATEHEZA » From the series: „Catechetic of” Essay – The evangelical story of the healing of the centurion’s servant – Fourth Sunday after Pentecost 4th Sunday after Pentecost (Healing of the centurion’s servant) Matthew 8, 5 – 13

From the series: „Catechetic of” Essay – The evangelical story of the healing of the centurion’s servant – Fourth Sunday after Pentecost 4th Sunday after Pentecost (Healing of the centurion’s servant) Matthew 8, 5 – 13

From the series: „Catechetic of”

Essay – The evangelical story of the healing of the centurion’s servant – Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

4th Sunday after Pentecost (Healing of the centurion’s servant) Matthew 8, 5 – 13

The scriptural fragment:

„At that time, when Jesus was entering Capernaum, a centurion approached Him, begging Him and saying: Lord, my servant is lying in the house, emaciated, suffering terribly.
And Jesus said to him: I will come and heal him.
But the centurion, answering, said to him: Lord, I am not worthy for you to come under my roof, but only say a word and my servant will be healed.
Because I am also a man under the rule of others and I have soldiers under me and I say to him: Go, and he goes; and to the other: Come, and come; and my servants: Do this, and do it.
Hearing this, Jesus marveled and said to those who followed Him: I tell you the truth: I have not found so much faith even in Israel.
And I tell you that many from the east and the west will come and sit at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven. And the sons of the Kingdom will be cast into outermost darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
And Jesus said to the centurion: Go, let it be unto you as you have believed. And his servant was healed in that hour.” (Mat. 8, 5 – 13)

The Gospel of the 4th Sunday after Pentecost relates the miracle of the healing of the centurion’s servant that we find in the Gospel according to Matthew 8, 5-13, but also in the parallel places in the Gospel according to Luke 7, 1-10 and with a slightly special note in the Gospel according to John 4, 46-54.
During the liturgical year, very often we meet between the pages of the Gospel with the account of the miracles that the Lord Jesus Christ performed, but today we have before our eyes a slightly different account.
In the evangelical fragment, it is not spoken about how (touching the one in suffering – as he had done on other occasions) the Lord Jesus Christ healed that servant, but insists on the dialogue that precedes this miracle.
We have a picture in the two Synoptic Gospels that broadly relate the same things: in the Matthew text a centurion approaches Jesus Christ, who enters the city of Capernaum and asks Him to perform a miracle to heal his sick child.
Jesus Christ volunteers to heal the child and wants to go to the house where he was. But the centurion stops him, recognizing his unworthiness to receive Jesus Christ and believes that if he says a single word, the child will be healed. Jesus Christ commends the faith of the heathen.
On another note, the account of the Evangelist Luke is more detailed: the miracle takes place in Capernaum, the city of the Saviour, the centurion is a personality who shows mercy and even care towards the Jews, building their synagogue, the person who is healed is presented here as a servant whom the centurion valued highly.
Those who pray to Jesus Christ are the Jewish elders who intercede for him and paint a very favorable portrait of him.
A second moment occurs when Jesus Christ approaches the centurion’s house, and he sends friends to tell Christ that he does not feel worthy to come to him or to trouble himself for him, but trusts that if he will say a word, his wish will come true.
Finally, the Savior Jesus Christ praises the faith of the centurion. The Evangelist John, however, presents another version and places the beginning of this episode in Cana, where Jesus Christ performed His first miracle.
There is a similarity between the Matthew text and the John text regarding the identity of the healed one: a son of a centurion or royal dignitary. One thing is more special about the John approach, namely the statement of the Savior: „Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe” (John 4, 48).
This pericope aroused particular interest because of the „ecumenism” and generosity of our Lord Jesus Christ. The presented picture is as contemporary as possible: An Orthodox Church welcomes sufferers who are not necessarily Orthodox Christians, but people who ask for comfort, relief. The question is how will we approach this work?
„Even if you do not believe in Me, believe in these works so that you may know that the Father is in Me and I in the Father”
If we look at the text from St. Ap. and Ev. Matthew, Jesus Christ praises the faith of the centurion, the faith of the „unbeliever”, the one who was not of the vine of Abraham and who did not necessarily have a knowledge of God.
This faith is not so much in the deity of Jesus Christ as in His power to do this miracle as One who has dominion over death. The consequence of the healing is the conversion of his entire family (cf. John 4, 53).
It would be an important point to remember, namely: Jesus Christ works miracles when through them a soul is won that will believe in Him, and Saint Cyril of Alexandria says regarding this: „For by saying „Go!”, he urges him to believe, and by saying „Your Son lives” it shows the fulfillment of the desired.” The Gospel proposes us to meditate on how we should relate to fellow sufferers who do not necessarily share the same faith as us.
We see the Jews asking the Savior to do what they ask for the centurion, for he had built their synagogue.
This attitude of care that the centurion had for the Jews will return to him by the fact that in the end he will believe in Jesus Christ, he will discover the true meaning of existence. It is a constant of the Gospels, and this approach urges: „Let your light shine before ¬men, so that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5, 16).
Also, an incident told by Saint Paisius the Aghiorite in relation to Saint Arsenius the Cappadocian tells us that Muslim women came to him with sick children, and Saint Arsenius read their prayers and they were healed.
How important it is for the Church to give the love with which Christ loved her and through which she showed herself as a Bride, and the bride pleasing to Christ does like her Bridegroom: she goes to everyone who seeks His help (cf. Matthew 8 , 7).
We must have the same approach. We would sometimes be tempted to isolate ourselves in rigid and minimalist constructions of selfish thinking – which Jesus Christ the Lord encountered in His preaching to the Jews of the age – to direct His grace to whom to act, like the Jews who selfishly considered themselves followers of Abraham, not doing the works that Abraham did.
Now, the Gospel shows us clearly that we are the means, the instrument through which God seeks all the people brought to life by Him, to save him, but this only if we also act wisely ¬.
At the same time, we notice a common thing in the stories of this fragment: love, that is, the close relationship that the one who asks for the miracle has for the one who needs healing.
In two accounts it is about the son, and in the third about the servant. The son is a leitmotif of the sermon, the prodigal son, the son wounded by sin who suffers and needs the healing love of the Lord, and the servant – the image of the one who is even more distant by his sins and who also needs the same healing love. How could man heal without life-giving love? And if man, because of the wickedness of sin, no longer tends to Jesus Christ, how can we expect him to rise from the mire on his own for the first time if we do not run with requests and requests to Jesus Christ for the whole man? This is the sanctifying and healing vocation of the Church, to be like a mirror to the Bridegroom, through the reflection of the grace that came through Jesus Christ to heal all those who look to the Light that is reflected in the Church.
We sin greatly against the love of God and the sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ if we do not pray for our fellow sufferers on confessional grounds.
In fact, illness, suffering, is presented to us as a moment of solidarity with those in powerlessness, as a possibility to let Jesus Christ touch the heart of the wounded.
In a note to Saint Cyril’s commentary, there is talk of a double healing: of the son in suffering, but also of the father who requested this for his son.
This is how the Lord seeks to make us all partakers of His grace.

Dr. Stelian Gombos

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Despre Stelian GOMBOS

Stelian Gombos – Scurta prezentare – Nascut la 08.07.1977, in municipiul Oradea, judetul Bihor – Teolog, jurist si publicist – Absolvent a doua facultati: Teologie si Drept – Absolvent a multiple si diferite cursuri, stagii si sesiuni de pregatire precum si a numeroase studii, postuniversitare, masterale, de specialitate, atat in tara cat si in strainatate – Doctor in Teologie – Consilier la Secretariatul de Stat pentru Culte (SSC) din cadrul Guvernului Romaniei – Autor si coautor a 30 de carti sau volume de profil – Autor a numeroase studii de specialitate, lucrari, articole, eseuri, interviuri si recenzii – Initiator, organizator si coordonator a numeroase conferinte, seri duhovnicesti si evenimente spiritual – culturale – Participant la foarte multe simpozioane, conferinte, seri duhovnicesti si manifestari cultural – spirituale – Initiator, organizator, realizator si coordonator a numaroase proiecte, activitati sau campanii social – umanitare precum si actiuni sau proiecte caritativ – filantropice – Colaborator si participant la realizarea si desfasurarea a diferite evenimente cultural – spirituale, proiecte si evenimente social – umanitare sau comunitare – Membru a diferite organizatii, asociatii sau fundatii cultural – spirituale sau comunitar – sociale – Bun comunicator, colaborator, initiator, organizator, coordonator, orator, scriitor si vorbitor!… Eseurile: „Punct si de la capat ori ba?!”, „Romania in si din noi”, „A fi ortodox astazi!”, „Cand m-am intors acasa”, „Cine arunca primul cu piatra?!”, „Ipocrizia”, „Recunostinta”, „Dreapta socoteala”, „Incercarile vietii”, „Judecata”, „Constiinta”, „Preotul”, „Credinta”, „Pocainta”, „Rabdarea”, „Sinceritatea”, „Curajul”, „Unitatea”, „Demnitatea” si „Identitatea”, „Treizeci de ani de la Revolutie”, „Normalitatea” si „Schimbarea”, „Simplitatea” si „Intalnirea” precum si multe altele sunt tot atatea fericite prilejuri sau binecuvantate ocazii de a constitui obiectul sau subiectul unei intalniri, prelegeri, meditatii, discurs, carte ori conferinta, la care va fac aleasa poftire pentru a organiza si, deci, a fi laolalta/impreuna, spre a impartasi, in mod concret, asemenea valori sanatoase si principii comune, in acest an, cu care ne-a (mai) inzestrat, miluit si binecuvantat Dumnezeu!… Asadar, va stau la dispozitie, cu aleasa pretuire si deosebita consideratie!… Pastram legatura!… Dumnezeu sa ne ajute, tuturor, in continuare, in tot lucrul cel bun! Amin!… @Stelian Gombos Telefon: 0745/265661 e-mail: