I have had a few intentions lately for prayers for healing and some of these prayers are for miracles. I have looked up specific saints for the intentions I have been praying for but the other day I decided to spend some time with Scripture. After thinking about it, I decided I wanted to focus on the healing of the Roman centurion’s servant.
The Roman Centurion was seen as an enemy of the Jewish people but he had faith in Jesus. We read in Matthew 8:5-8 “When He entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, appealing to Him and saying, ‘Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.’ And He said to him, ‘I will come and cure him.’ The centurion answered, ‘Lord, I am not worthy to have You come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed.’”
This miracle reminds us that the faith of someone who cares about us is enough to save us. At the end of the story we hear Jesus tell the centurion to let it be done and the servant was healed. The centurion had to have the courage and faith to step out of his comfort zone and ask Jesus for help. After reading the story, I started scanning around the whole chapter. In chapter 8 of the Gospel of Matthew, we read about Jesus healing the lepers, healing the centurion’s servant, healing Peter’s mother-in-law, calming the storm, and healing of the two men possessed by a demon. What stood out to me the most was that in the midst of all these stories about these miraculous healings is the story of Jesus calming the storm. Jesus and the Apostles were out on the sea when a bad storm arose. Jesus was sleeping in the boat and the Apostles were terrified. They woke Him and asked Him to do something. He rebuked them for their fear and lack of faith. He calms the sea and brings a sense of peace to the Apostles.
It struck me that in the middle of the healings, the biggest miracle to me was that He brought a sense of calm in the middle of everything spinning out of control. The Apostles thought they were going to capsize and Jesus calms the storm around them. In the midst of the storms in our life, we need to learn to rely on Christ to calm the squalls around us and within us.
Jesus is peace. After His Resurrection, Jesus greets His followers three separate times with “Peace be with you”. It is so central to what Jesus preached that it became an important part of our Liturgy. According to the dictionary, the word peace means “Freedom from disturbance.” In the passage with the storm, He frees them from the disturbance of the storm. When we allow Jesus to be in control, we can allow Him to give us His peace. He offers it to us in every encounter and we need to be willing to meet Him so we can feel that peace in our lives and in our hearts.
Anchor columnist Amanda Tarantelli has been a campus minister at Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth since 2005. She is married, a die-hard sports fan, and resides in Cranston, R.I. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.