Saturday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time
"Many will come from the east and the west, ... at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven"
Basil of Seleucia (?-c.468), Bishop
Homily 19 on the centurion, PG 85, 235f.
I have seen our Lord in the Gospel accomplish many miracles and, reassured by them, have strengthened my fearful words. I have seen the centurion throw himself at the Lord's feet, nations send their firstfruits to Christ. The cross has not yet been erected and already pagans hasten towards their master. The words “Go, teach all nations” have not yet been heard (Mt 28,19) but the nations are already hastening. Their race precedes their call, they are burning with desire for the Lord. The sound of preaching has not yet been heard but they are hurrying towards the one who preaches. Peter... has now been instructed and they gather around the one who is teaching him; the light of Paul has not yet blazed beneath Christ's standard and nations are coming with incense to adore the king (Mt 2,11).
And now, see how a centurion begs him and says to him: “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralysed, suffering dreadfully”. Here is a new miracle indeed! The servant whose limbs are paralysed leads his master to the Lord; the slaves' sickness gives health to his owner. Seeking his servant's healing, he finds our Lord; and while he is seeking for his slave's cure he becomes Christ's conquest.