The Centurian's Prayer

As Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came toward to him and said “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress.” And He said to him, “I will come and heal him.”  But the centurion answered Him “Lord I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word and my servant will be healed.”  When Jesus heard him, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.  And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go, be it done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.

Today 2,000 years later, the centurion’s prayer “Lord I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word and my servant will be healed” is said just before the reception of communion at mass.  Writer, Amelia Carlson, reminds us that since we are temples of the Holy Spirit, that makes our bodies the “roof” of this temple of God.

Author, Valerie Schultz says also commented upon reflection, “I realize that the healing of my broken, imperfect soul is the reason I come to mass.”  She believes that the prayer is a small confession, an act of humility, and a prayer for absolution moments before communion.  Even though he knows I am unworthy of his presence within me, Jesus enters under my roof anyway.

St. Teresa of Avila advises us to repeat the centurion’s prayer when we receive the Eucharist.  He is coming into our “house” and we need to welcome him with great hospitality.  We need to be attentive because Jesus is with us body, blood, soul, and divinity, now and forever.  Miracles can happen when Jesus is in our house just as the centurion knew. 

Ask for what you need!

Expect Miracles! 

Jeanne Leonardi

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