Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

November 8, 2011

Justin McCarthy

Senior, Medical Anthropology Major

Wis 2:23:3:9
Ps 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19
Lk 17:7-10

“Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed”. This is what Catholics have said for the past 40 years after the consecration of the bread and wine. However, starting with the first Sunday of Advent 2011-which was yesterday, November 27- the language of this response has been tweaked. In the new translation of the missal the objective is to get back to a more traditional translation of the original Latin. The new English translation states, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” Why was this change, amongst several others, necessary?

At first the new translation may seem excessive… “under my roof”…? But where else do we see this language? We see it in today’s Gospel where Jesus cured the Centurion’s servant. Jesus does so without hesitance, which is easy to brush over, until we look at the context and just who this Centurion was. This Centurion was likely a soldier of Herod and likely commanded 100 men. As a soldier of Herod he has pledged himself to uphold the militant rule of someone who directly thwarts all that Christ has come to stand for. However, he has left the rest of his men in search of Jesus, to heal one of them. I can’t help but parallel this to the good shepherd. Evidently, neither can Jesus, remarking, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith” (Matt 8:10). We cannot be certain whether the Centurion freely chose fidelity to Herod, but he has chosen freely to seek out Christ. He has chosen to travel to great lengths, leaving all his men to help one. And he’s put all his faith in Christ. Jesus applauds this. Why shouldn’t he? Despite the Centurion’s obvious sinfulness, he radiates several qualities of Christ as well.

To me, this understanding makes our response that much more magnificent. We have symbolically aligned with the Centurion. Christ recognizes that we have freely or reluctantly chosen to follow other rulers, be they tangible or non; but he also recognizes our repentance, our admonishment of those things which keep us from more full taking part in Christ’s communion. And he is just fine with that; in fact, he all too readily comes to our aid and rejoices in our faith. I will keep this in mind each time I respond, and I hope it serves you all as well too.

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