Monday, September 17, 2018
Monday of the Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
“Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.” Luke 7:6b
These words are spoken by a wealthy Roman centurion. His servant was ill and messengers were sent to Jesus to ask that He come heal the servant. However, this centurion deeply sensed his unworthiness before Jesus. As Jesus was arriving, the centurion sent his friends to humbly greet Jesus, profess his unworthiness, and profess his faith that Jesus could heal his servant from a distance. Jesus does just that after stating publicly, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith” (Luke 7:9).
One profound truth this passage reveals is that humility, faith and mercy are intertwined. The centurion knew the humble truth of Jesus’ greatness and his own unworthiness. The humble profession of that truth was an act of great faith on his part. The result was that mercy was sent forth upon the centurion and his servant.
The example set for us by this centurion is a powerful one. Too often in our life of prayer we pray as if we have a right to God’s grace. This is a profound mistake. We must seek to follow this centurion’s example by understanding that we do not have a right to anything from our Lord. This humble acknowledgment is the necessary foundation for the reception of the abundant mercy of God. Mercy is a gift, not a right. But the good news is that God’s heart burns with a desire to pour forth that gift. Acknowledging mercy as an absolute gift, to which we have no right, unleashes its power in our lives. Understanding this humble truth is a profession of faith in God’s mercy and delights His heart abundantly.
Reflect, today, upon those inspiring words of the centurion. “Lord, I am not worthy…” Say them over and over and allow them to become the foundation of your relationship with our Lord. In this humility, you will be richly blessed.
Lord, I am not worthy that You would come to me. I am not worthy of the precious gift of Holy Communion or of Your mercy in my life. Please Lord, help me to continually see that all You give is a gift of Your unlimited mercy. I thank You, dear Lord. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saint for Today – Saint Robert Bellarmine