I have to admit that one of the most difficult changes for me with the revised Roman Missal is the same phrase we hear in the Gospel today, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof….” As a Spanish language learner, many of the changes were easy and comfortable to adopt because they aligned with the Spanish translation. While most of us fumbled through the change in responses, I felt in some ways more solidarity with our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters. I consider it a blessing that the response that I most struggled with understanding is the one that appears in the reading that I’m asked to reflect upon and write about today.
"Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
The centurion, the one who expresses the words above, is one who is used to having power and commanding others. We see this in his own appeal to Jesus, “And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it.” And yet, he recognizes that his own power is nothing compared to that of Jesus. How often I find myself wanting to control a situation or tell God how something should be. It sometimes takes me a while before I step back and realize that I am not ultimately in control. The moment that I re-remember that I am not in control is actually quite liberating. Placing my trust and faith in God over and over again is a part of my spiritual journey.
What I am drawn to in the Gospel is the absolute faith with which the centurion approaches Jesus on behalf of his servant. He does not doubt that Jesus’ words alone can heal his servant, even without a physical encounter with Jesus. Each time we receive the Eucharist at mass we, unworthy as we are, are deemed worthy for a physical encounter with Christ. Wow! And yet so often the reality of Christ within us, under our roofs, in our homes is such a challenge to grasp and a reality that I don’t always approach with the faith and trust of the centurion.
Like the centurion and his servant, we have the opportunity to be transformed with each encounter with Christ, whether it is through prayer or meditation, through interactions in our daily lives, or through receiving Him in the Eucharist.
Let us pray that we can approach Jesus Christ in the Eucharist with the same humility and faith that the centurion approached Jesus at Capernaum. When we invite Jesus into our hearts and our homes, under our own roofs, we allow Him to transform us and work miracles in our own lives.
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