Exodus 1 Cor. 11:17-26,33, Ps. 40:7-10,17, Luke 7:1-10
“Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore, I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed.” (Luke 7:6-7)
Today, we reflect on the Centurion whose slave was cured from a distance. The Centurion will not let Jesus come to him because he considered his house unworthy to receive the commander in chief of the entire universe. “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof… but say the word and let my servant be healed.”
The words of this Centurion are the very same words we utter just before Holy Communion at every mass. When the priest says: “Behold, the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world, blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” Our response is: “Lord, I am not worthy to have you under my roof but only say your word and my soul shall be healed.” When I repeat the words of this Centurion at mass, do I approach Jesus with the same faith and disposition as the Centurion? Do I even consider myself worthy enough to receive Holy Communion or do I come forward for communion just to impress others?
In our first reading today, St. Paul expresses his unhappiness with the Corinthian Church for its failure to grasp the meaning and essence of the Holy Eucharist. The Corinthian Church did not understand Holy Communion, they took it as a meal in which there was even survival of the fittest. Some were getting drunk in the church while others did not even get a single piece.
St. Paul then took his time to teach them what the Holy Eucharist is all about. In fact, St. Paul’s teaching on the Eucharist remains a concrete catechesis even in our day and time. When we celebrate the Eucharist, it is not a meal we use in entertaining ourselves, it is not ordinary food, it is the REAL BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST. What appears to the eyes as just bread and wine is the Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ, the same Jesus we read about in today’s Gospel passage.
Now, there is a point where both our first reading and our Gospel passage today meets. For many people, Jesus was just a man like anyone else. We are told that even his own people could not look at Jesus beyond the level of being a carpenter’s son, some even said he is the prince of Beelzebub. But this Centurion had the eyes to see that Jesus was not just a man but God walking in the midst of men.
His Faith not only won him Jesus’ commendation; it also ensured his servant’s instant cure. For some today, Holy Communion is just ordinary bread and wine, even amongst Catholics, there are some who out of over-familiarity do not believe in the real presence of Jesus in Holy Communion, they despise Jesus just as his countrymen did.
If only we can just have the Centurion’s Faith and learn to approach Holy Communion as the Centurion approached Jesus, we would be amazed at the number of miracles we would experience. Let the words we recite at every mass remind us of how the Centurion’s slave got cured and assure us of our own healing.
Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, increase my faith in your real presence in Holy Communion. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of week 24 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: 1 Cor. 11:17-26,33, Ps. 40:7-10,17, Luke 7:1-10).
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu