Today’s passage Matthew 8:1-17 has three healing stories:
1. The Leper
2. The Centurion
3. Peter’s mother-in-law
1. The Healing of the Leper is interesting because Jesus tells the man to get the healing on the record: Go to the religious authorities and have your life restored. Even this radical preacher-healer is highly interested in playing by the rules of the Jewish tradition. This way the former Leper can get his life back, not just get rid of his disease.
2. The Centurion is one of those instances where Jesus crosses a line that used to be unthinkable: extending God’s healing touch to an enemy of God’s people. Love your enemy is so much more radical than love your neighbor.
3. The third healing is a good insight for my Catholic friends: Peter is considered to be the first Bishop of Rome, or as you would say Pope. Now he had a mother-in-law. That means he was married. So the first Pope was married. Which is no surprise because clerical celibacy was not decided on until the 4th century. Nothing sacred about it.