“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” – Mt 8:8
One of most helpful and humbling prayers for me during Mass is what we pray before receiving the Eucharist: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” It is basically a repetition of the centurion’s appeal to Jesus in today’s Gospel. A petition prompted by compassion for his servant and as well as trust in Jesus. Jesus praises this act of faith and compassion.
I don’t really know why my response before receiving Communion is helpful to me and welcomes a most sacred moment that follows during Mass. Then I sit or kneel with everyone present, and allow Mystery to permeate. Maybe it’s because I let go of my preoccupation of being worthy or unworthy of God’s love (or being loved). Maybe it’s because I let Christ’s mercy and goodness pervade my heart, mind, body, and spirit. Maybe it’s saying “yes” to my dear friend Jesus who simply wants to be with me, look at me, delight in me, sit with me, hide in me, share my loneliness, burdens, self-judgment, hurt, or worries for others, etc. Maybe it’s allowing the centurion’s faith to be my own, a faith passed on by my ancestors, my grandparents and my parents that I am embracing. Maybe it’s letting myself BE the Spirit’s dwelling place and allowing other people – those kneeling next to me and those I struggle to see Christ’s presence – to BE God’s beloved children, Christ’s favorite hiding place.
The reasons may be beyond me. Yet, during that time of sacred silence, Mystery soaks in. Trust grows in me. Grace unfolds within, empowering me to say “yes” to whatever exists “under my roof”, helping me accept others as they are a little more.