Today’s first reading is from Lamentations. It is a sad, depressing read. After reading over the last few days about the diaspora and the Babylonian exile, this is a cry of anguish. In the Gospel today from Matthew 8, we see Jesus perform many healings, the first of which is on a centurion’s servant, done from a distance.
When Jesus offers to go to the centurion’s house to cure the servant, the centurion says to Jesus, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” Such faith! As Catholics, we should be very familiar with those words. We say a modified version of them immediately before we receive the Eucharist. Remember? “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.”
This prayer so touches me each time I say it at Mass. Because I mean it. I am not worthy to receive the Lord Jesus. With all my sins and baggage, I have absolutely no business walking up to receive the Author of Life into my body. But the Church tells us that, just by receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, our sins are forgiven. We are healed. Now that’s the kind of news I want to share with the world!
Father, thank you for giving us Your Son, Jesus, even though we are not worthy. You have given us the Word, and we are healed. Amen.