Soldier’s Response

The response of this officer is what we presently reply before we receive Jesus in Holy Communion. The New English Translation for the Mass faithfully applies this and it’s by no sheer coincidence or accident that we try to edify that same faithfulness. When orders are given in a military setting, these commands are to be expediently obeyed without question. Since this officer was in a position to give such orders, he fully understood and believed in the compliance of his subordinates. When a command is given, it is expected to be strictly followed.

What surprises Our Lord is that this man approached him in all humility and simplicity. This officer treated himself as a subordinate to Jesus. That is why he fully expected to comply with whatever orders or instructions Jesus would tell him. And he would also obediently follow what Jesus would say without question. The officer looked to Our Lord as the one-in-charge, so that means whatever instructions or words of healing Jesus would share will definitely happen without question.

Jesus also noticed that the request of the officer was made for another and not for himself. He was asking for his servant to be healed and he was not seeking any personal gain. What selflessness! May we learn to be as selfless and completely faithful to Our Lord just like this officer. May we approach each Communion with that same disposition of humility and faithfulness: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the Word and my soul shall be healed.” May we make ourselves available to be of service to Our Lord.