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"The Compassionate Centurion" by Claire McGarry (CatholicMom.com) I, Luc Viatour [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption] 

When He (Jesus) entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to Him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully." (Matthew 8:5-6)

In this story of the centurion asking Jesus to cure his servant, our focus is typically on the centurion's faith that Jesus need "only say the word and his servant will be healed." Without a doubt, the centurion's faith is noble and inspiring, something we all need to aspire to as we echo these words right before receiving Communion.


However, upon closer inspection, we learn the centurion is noble in other ways too, Despite the fact that his servants must obey his orders, this centurion is compassionate and caring for those under his command. He doesn't ask: "Cure my servant so he can do more work for me." He asks Jesus to cure his servant because his servant is "suffering dreadfully." 


For those of us who are parents, supervisors, or managers, we could learn a thing or two about leadership from this man. Although he demands respect and obedience from those under him, he also demands compassion and respect from himself.


When our kids disobey, or an employee does something wrong, do we loose our cool and let our anger fly? Or do we take a breath, recognize the person before us was created from God's love and grace, and redirect them with compassion and respect?


I, for one, can say I did well when I managed people for a living, mostly because they were adults and my flaw of being a people-pleaser won out over my anger. Sadly, I can't say the same for my management of my own children.


Maybe it's the fact that I want to be real with my kids and show my true emotions. Maybe it's because I feel so responsible for forming them right, with the clock ticking down on the time I have left when they'll listen to me.


If I get honest, I'm just using excuses to justify not holding myself accountable for my terrible temper. It all needs to stop: the excuses and the bad temper. 

If I truly want to raise my kids to be good and self-controlled people, I need to start controlling how I react when things go amiss. Not only do my kids deserve my love, but they deserve my compassion and respect as well. Not only will that inspire them to overcome their mistakes, but it will make me more worthy, like the noble centurion.


Copyright 2019 Claire McGarry