Could you do that? You have someone close to you at home, and you know Jesus is near and one visit could heal her or him. Yet, you realize the unworthiness that you have, that we all have, for him to come under your roof. Would you have faith enough to tell him not to come, but just say the word. Would you be confident enough that his word would heal your loved one?
Interestingly, these words are so much clearer in the new translation of the Mass. We pray these very words just before we all receive Holy Communion. We acknowledge our unworthiness, and we also express our desire that our Lord would say the word so that our souls would be healed.
That’s the faith we are called to have, and I wonder if we have that kind of faith when we pray. Do we trust God enough to let him “say the word” and then know that we don’t have to set “Plan B” in motion? Today’s Scriptures call us to greater trust as we begin this Advent journey to the house of the Lord. In what way do we need to trust God more today?
Today’s gospel reading gives me the opportunity to talk a bit about the new translation of the Roman Missal. As you may know, we will begin using that translation at Mass beginning on the first Sunday of Advent this year, November 27th. We have already begun using the sung parts of the Mass, with permission from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. But the recited parts have to wait until November.
One of those recited parts is the response to the priest’s invitation to adoration just before receiving Communion. The new translation of that prayer is this:
Behold the Lamb of God,
behold him who takes away the sins of the world.
Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.
And the people’s response, also new, is this:
Lord, I am not worthy
that you should enter under my roof,
but only say the word
and my soul shall be healed.
I think you can see the similarity here between this prayer and the confession of faith that the centurion makes in today’s gospel reading. He had faith that Jesus could heal his servant and did not want to even trouble Jesus to come under his roof, unworthy as he was.
When we receive the Eucharist, we do it confessing our own unworthiness, but also professing the same faith that that centurion had. We know that we are unworthy, but we trust in the worthiness of our Savior, who transforms us completely and makes us worthy in the sight of God.
God is calling us to become worthy by accepting his mercy and forgiveness. What is the word that Jesus needs to speak to us today, so that our souls can be healed?