Monday, April 28, 2008
And the centurion, making answer, said: "Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this, Go, and he goeth, and to another Come, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it." And Jesus hearing this, marvelled; and said to them that followed him. "Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven: But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." And Jesus said to the centurion: "Go, and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee." And the servant was healed at the same hour. (Matt. 8:8-13)
OUR LORD'S PROPHECY about the extension of His Church is another proof of His Divinity. The heathen centurion believed, whereas the Pharisees and their many adherents would not believe. Our Lord made this the occasion of uttering the significant and striking prophecy that many heathens, all over the world, would believe in Him, becoming thereby the spiritual children of Abraham, and would possess the kingdom of heaven promised to him; whilst, on the other hand, the Israelites, the real descendants of Abraham, who were called into the kingdom of heaven before any one else, would not, as a body, believe and be saved, but would be lost by reason of their unbelief. This prophecy of the spread of His Church among the Gentiles has been completely fulfilled, and proves the Omniscience of our Lord.
[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.] (1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)