When Jesus had finished all his words to the people,he entered Capernaum.
A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die,and he was valuable to him.When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him,asking him to come and save the life of his slave.They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying,“He deserves to have you do this for him,for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.”And Jesus went with them,but when he was only a short distance from the house,the centurion sent friends to tell him,“Lord, do not trouble yourself,for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you;but say the word and let my servant be healed.For I too am a person subject to authority,with soldiers subject to me.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.”When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him,“I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”When the messengers returned to the house,they found the slave in good health.
Catholics will recognize a portion of this story. “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof but only say the word and my soul shall be healed”. We say this every time we are about to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. But, do we really pay attention to the words that are being said?
Before I receive, I say this prayer:
“Lord, I know I am not worthy to receive You. But, by your grace and compassion, you allow me to anyway. Come into my heart and nourish my soul as I try to do Your will each day.”
None of us are worthy and God already knows that. But if you show faith in Him, He allows us to become worthy to receive His Son in body, blood, soul and divinity.
O sacrament most holy, O sacrament divine,
All praise and all thanksgiving Be ev’ry moment thine!
(image courtesy of openhymnal.org)