Saturday, July 1, 2017
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” Matthew 8:8
This familiar phrase is repeated every time we prepare to go to Holy Communion. It’s a statement of great humility and trust from the Roman Centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant from a distance.
Jesus is impressed with this man’s faith stating that “in no one in Israel have I found such faith.” This man’s faith is worth pondering as a model for our own faith.
First, let’s look at his humility. The centurion acknowledges that he is “not worthy” to have Jesus come to his home. This is true. None of us are worthy of such a great grace. The home that this spiritually refers to is our soul. We are not worthy of Jesus coming to our souls so as to make His dwelling there. At first this may be hard to accept. Are we really not worthy of this? Well, no, we are not. That’s just the fact.
It’s important to know this to be the case so that, in this humble realization, we can also acknowledge that Jesus chooses to come to us anyway. Recognizing our unworthiness should do nothing other than fill us with great gratitude at the fact that Jesus comes to us in this humble state. This man was justified in the sense that God poured His grace on him for his humility.
He also had great trust in Jesus. And the fact that the centurion knew he was unworthy of such a grace makes his trust all the more sacred. It’s sacred in that he knew he was unworthy but he also knew that Jesus loved him anyway and desired to come to him and heal his servant.
This shows us that our trust in Jesus must not be based on whether or not we have a right to His presence in our lives, rather, it shows us that our trust is based on our knowledge of His infinite mercy and compassion. When we see that mercy and compassion, we will be in a position to seek it out. Again, we do this not because we have a right to it; rather, we do it because that’s what Jesus wants. He wants us to seek out His mercy despite our unworthiness.
Reflect, today, on your own humility and trust. Can you pray this prayer with the same faith as the centurion? Let him be a model for you especially every time you prepare to receive Jesus “under your roof” in Holy Communion.
Lord, I am not worthy of You. I am especially not worthy of receiving You in Holy Communion. Help me to humbly recognize this fact and, in that humility, help me to also recognize the fact that You desire to come to me anyway. Jesus, I trust in You.