(Light of the World Catholic Church - Littleton, Colorado)
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 8:5-11
When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully." He said to him, "I will come and cure him." The centurion said in reply, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, "Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven."
This is a Gospel reading that highlights for me my limitations. When I read of the centurion showing such faith, I imagine Jesus not focusing on the depth of this man's faith, but focusing on the fact that he is largely rejected by his own people and yet an outsider can accept him and his authority. In my life when the "wrong" people have been there, I have not focused so much on gratitude for them, but instead selfishly wondered where the "right" people were. St. Luke's Gospel (7:1-10) gives more information about the centurion, the elders of the Jews said of him "He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he built us our synagogue." Still, Jesus is astonished by his faith.
And from this centurion's words, we have such a pivotal moment in our Liturgy: "Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea" (Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul will be healed.) ccc 1386. His words are echoed throughout the centuries, every single day throughout the world. What great comfort they have brought me, as I have pondered my unworthiness to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion, to pray the centurion's words has reminded me that none of us are truly worthy, and yet we are loved and welcomed. Which encourages me to endeavor to be as worthy as I can, with the help of God.
Another metanote: I do not presume to teach any readers I may be blessed enough to have about the Sacred Scripture, but I am taking a huge leap to just write my understanding of it. Hopefully I will gain more understanding as I spend more time reading and praying. I am in my fourth year of a four year Biblical School. I thought I would be a Bible scholar at the end of four years ! HA! I now realize that I can spend my life studying Scripture and just hope to scratch the surface. What a wonderful thing to do! Wonderful, wonderful.
And thank you for your comments yesterday. What a welcoming community you are!
The photo of the cross in the snow is in honor of seeing snow start this morning at about 4:30 a.m., big beautiful white snowflakes!