“Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
This is a prayer every practicing catholic should recognize right away. It’s a prayer we pray once a week at Mass, or more often for those who go to daily Mass… But like many of the prayers we recite, do we really PRAY it?
Recently, I found myself really praying this prayer in the Mass… well, sort of. For the past year, maybe longer, every time I went to mass and we got to this prayer, I meant it; at least most of it. I would begin the prayer whole heartedly, “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof…” But that’s where my actual prayer stopped, the rest were just words. I became so focused on how unworthy I was to receive Christ that it was all I focused on.
How often, as Christians seeking holiness do we do this to ourselves? How many times do you over-criticize yourself for the sins in your past no matter how recent? How many times do you tell God that you aren’t good enough for Him? If your anything like me… A lot. Even though there is a large truth to this, that we aren’t worthy. This is also a trap of the evil one. He gets us to focus on the first part of this prayer, and forget the second. Just as many Christians look at the crucifixion and forget the resurrection we look at our broken selves, and forget that we are healed.
“But only say the word AND MY SOUL SHALL BE HEALED!”
I think this is the main part of the prayer! This prayer comes from Matthew 8:8 Where a Centurion asks Jesus to heal his servant. Jesus agrees, but the Centurion continues and says that he isn’t worthy for Jesus to enter his house, but since he is a person “subject to authority,” he knows that if Jesus, Ruler of All, commands that his servant is healed even from afar, then it will be done.
Jesus’ response is this: “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.” Then later he goes on to say, “You may go, as you have believed let it be done for you.”
AS YOU BELIEVED LET IT BE DONE FOR YOU.
If we truly mean our prayer when we say, “But only say the word and my soul shall be healed,” then Jesus will respond in the same way, he will heal us. This means that we don’t have the right to say “I’m not worthy..” Because Jesus has healed us and makes us worthy!
Now, I make it a point when I go to mass to truly pray this whole prayer, and I would like to invite you to do the same. Because we might not feel worthy, we might have committed large sins or done the unthinkable. But if we truly ask God to heal and forgive us, then it will be done.
You are forgiven; you are worthy… Because He makes you worthy.