"Lord, I am not worthy . . . but only say the word and my soul shall be healed" (Matthew 8:8).
At every Mass, each word of that prayer hung heavy on my tongue.
Could I truly be healed and reconciled to the Lord after all I had done?
These worrisome thoughts plagued my heart until one glorious day, I met Jesus in the Sacrament of Penance. I had not been to Confession since I was a little girl, when my greatest transgression was stealing a Barbie doll from my neighbor.
As the kind Ugandan priest prayed the words of Absolution over me with a radiant smile on his gentle face, I knew that my soul was healed. I could almost hear the joyous laughter in Heaven for this victory.
In today’s Gospel, a centurion approaches Jesus and shares that his servant is at home paralyzed and suffering. When Jesus tells the centurion that He will go and heal the servant, the centurion says, "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 responds by saying, "Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith" (Matthew 8:10).
The centurion gives witness to the truth that we can call out to Jesus even if we feel unworthy. We can have faith in His merciful love for us and proclaim, “Lord only say the word and I shall be healed.” How often do we avoid placing ourselves in His loving arms because we feel unworthy to be held? Yet, Jesus, in His infinite love for us calls us one step closer.
Jesus never tires of inviting you into His embrace.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church offers wonderful insights into being prepared to receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and the Pascal Banquet here.
Leana Bowler lives in Arizona with her husband, five children, feisty grandma, and three dogs. She love Jesus, writing jokes, books, strong coffee, and drawing upgraded stick figure people. You can find out more about her here.