It seems like every time I try to start reflecting on the readings in this blog, I come across one of the Gospel accounts of the Centurian. Last spring, I tried this crazy experiment of seeing if I could connect a theme in the A, B, and C cycles of the Vatican II lectionary, the traditional lectionary *and* the Byzantine lectionary.
The only real connection is that, on some weeks, the Byzantine and Latin lectionaries have the same readings, but usually not (I’d assumed they always did). And usually the two readings of the traditional Mass are also found in Cycles A, B, and C.
Anyway, I’ll start again focusing on the traditional readings.
So, this Gospel passage covers two main events. The first is the healing of the leper, where Jesus tells him to keep it a secret but show himself to the priest. The second is the incident with the Centurion, who gave us that beautiful prayer which is butchered in the current English translation:
“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my [servant/soul] shall be healed.”‘
Then Jesus talks about how people will come from many lands to dine with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom, but the children will be left outside.
Then the epistle is from Romans: be of one mind, humble, not rendering evil for evil; be good to each other; make peace with all men; do not revenge yourself but heap burning coals on your enemies by being kind to them.
Very good advice to remember in the current situation, where we have Our Holy Father granting a kindness to some of his enemies, the schismatic Society of St. Pius X, and where we have the Holy Father showing some degree of kind ness and courtesy to our evil president.
They’re really two separate lessons. Not really a theme there at all.
Except that the Centurion and the leper are both considered outcasts or enemies by Israel. One is a foreign invader; one is an unclean Israelite. Jesus treats both with the kindness that St. Paul advises in his epistle.