“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” You hear that at every Mass. Today’s Gospel is where it comes from.
Other parts of the Mass come directly from Scripture, usually from the big moments in Jesus’ life. Things like the Lord’s Prayer and the Sermon on the Mount. And then there’s today’s brief exchange between Jesus and a Roman centurion.
So why is this half-remembered moment part of every Mass?
Because of what it says about us. And about God.
Saying this before the Sacrament puts things in perspective. If we’re honest, we have no right to claim anything from God. Everything we’ve ever received is a gift, something that none of us is worthy to receive.
Following this by receiving the Sacrament also shows us God’s perspective. We get to see God’s response to our unworthiness. Where God says,
“I know. Come to Me anyway. Let Me give you what you need. Me.”