Today’s Gospel: Matthew 8, 5-11
In today’s Gospel reading, a Roman centurion comes to Jesus to beg the Lord to heal his sick servant. However, when Jesus responds that he will come and cure his servant, the centurion responds, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” Every day at the height of the every Mass, just before Communion, throughout the entire world, Catholics call to mind the words of this Gentile, a Roman soldier hated by the Jews:
“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
We are asking the Lord to heal not our servant, but our inmost being. Catholics repeat the words of this soldier from 2,000 years ago words to prepare us for an incredibly intimate Divine encounter.
The centurion realizes in Jesus’ presence he is no more than a servant himself. He is saying, “If those under me do what I command, surely You who have Divine authority can command an incredible miracle of healing by your word alone.” It is this soldier’s humility and trust which we seek to imitate when we repeat it only takes is a Word from God to heal our souls. Only an awareness of our unworthiness and a trust in God’s healing love can make intimate union with Christ possible during Holy Communion. This is the reason why we echo the words of the centurion at every Mass.
How can we reflect the centurion’s attitude of humility and trust, not only during Mass but also in our daily lives?
Lord, I do not want to simply rattle off this response at every Mass; instill humility and trust in You in the very fabric of my soul.
connecting with theology is a verb