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Yet I Shall Be Healed

During this Year of Faith, we will blog reflections and stories to accompany you on your faith journey.
Centurion“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
– Invitation to Communion
A number of years ago I was giving a talk on the Mass. Afterward, I asked for comments or questions. A woman stood up and said angrily, “I refuse to say the words, ‘Lord, I am not worthy.’ I have worked so hard rebuilding my self-esteem, and every time I come to Mass I am reminded that I                                  am worthless.”
The woman had misunderstood the idea behind that biblical statement. Our admission of our unworthiness before receiving the Lord is not meant as a self-indictment; rather, it is the recognition of Jesus as the power and compassion of God.
The plain truth, on a human level, is that we are unworthy to have the Lord visit us, and yet God makes us worthy for that honor and privilege. In the Incarnation, God lowered himself so he could raise humanity to be in union with him. That’s why Jesus reminds his followers in the Gospel of John, “I no longer call you slaves.…I have called you friends” (15:15).
Remember Jesus’ compassion
The new response to the Invitation to Communion calls to mind the encounter between Jesus and the Roman centurion found in the gospels. The centurion begged Jesus to heal his paralyzed servant, saying, “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).
Jesus doesn’t respond with the disdain others showed to Roman soldiers. Rather, he says to his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith” (Matthew 8:10). Immediately, Jesus’ healing spirit enters the home and souls of these “outsiders,’’ healing, saving, and freeing them from every kind of paralysis.
Share God’s healing presence
By God’s grace we are temples of the Holy Spirit. We come to Eucharist aware of our brokenness and our need for forgiveness and healing from a God who calls us “friend.”
Christ does for us what he did for the centurion; his healing spirit enters under the temple roof of our very souls, setting us free to “go” and be God’s healing presence in the world.
Suggestions for Prayer:
  – In the Scripture passage about the centurion (Matthew 8:5-13), Jesus recognized the centurion as a model of faith. Reflect on and pray for someone who has been a model of faith for you.
  – How do I welcome Christ in my life? What stands in the way of my inviting Jesus to come under my roof?
Reprinted with permission from Living with Christ. For more information or to subscribe, visit or call 1-800-214-3386.
Sr. Terry is the Executive Director of RENEW International and a Dominican Sister from Blauvelt, NY.

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