The centurion was perhaps a Syrian, certainly a pagan, an officer in the Roman military. He was clearly a good person, an admirable man.
Yet this foreigner must have respected and cared about his Jewish serving boy so much that he wanted him relieved of the “dreadful suffering.” Furthermore he was willing to open himself to the censure of his superiors and to the behind-the-back remarks of his associates and subordinates by begging humbly to this wandering Jewish healer to cure his Jewish serving boy. But what really astounded Jesus was the solidity and firmness of the man’s faith.
Has Jesus found faith like this among us? Advent is a time for strengthening our own faith. It’s a time when we renew our faith and trust in Jesus. Perhaps if we work at strengthening our faith, we will be pleased to hear Jesus speak of us, although not as fulsomely as he spoke of the centurion, “I have seen your faith grow.”
Reflecting on today’s Gospel, what hope does this story give us, in our faith and in our relationship with Jesus?