SAINT CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA, BISHOP AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH (OPTIONAL MEMORIAL)
Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.
These words are familiar to us, not just because they are in today’s Gospel (Matthew 8:5 – 17), but because we say a version of this Scripture each week during the Communion Rite. They invite us to recall the faith of the centurion and to receive Jesus with the kind of expectant faith he had, the faith that left Jesus “amazed” (Matthew 8:10). This man—who wasn’t even a Jew—believed that Jesus had the power to heal and bring life by just one word. So let’s look at his words to Jesus and see how we can make them into our own prayer.
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. I know that I don’t always have the perfect home for you in my heart. It can be a struggle at times to be patient and kind, whether with kids or coworkers. I can get so caught up in the stresses and tasks required of me each day that I lose track of you. But I am so grateful that my sins and failings don’t keep you away. Although I’m imperfect, you still want to come into my life, into my heart, and into my soul. What a relief it is to know that you are pleased to dwell in this messy home of mine!
“But only say the word . . . Like the centurion, I believe that your word brings life. You are the Word made flesh, and I believe that whenever I receive you in the Eucharist, especially with expectant faith, you shower me with grace. I experience it when I have the strength to let go of a resentment or when I choose to spend a few extra minutes with you in prayer. Thank you for all the ways you are already setting things right in my life, Lord!
“. . . and my soul shall be healed. Lord, I believe in your healing touch. I believe in your mercy and forgiveness. What a gift it is to know that you not only desire to come to me but that you come with your merciful, healing grace! Come to me today, Lord, and heal me of anything that prevents me from welcoming you.”
“Jesus, I am so very grateful that you are always willing to come into my heart. Thank you!”
Lamentations 2:2, 10-14, 18-19
Psalm 74:1-7, 20-21