Right before communion, we pray, “Lord I am not worthy to receive you.” If we are not worthy, how can we receive Jesus’ body and blood in communion?
April 4, 2021, 12:00 PM
This prayer, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed,” is based on a Scripture passage (see Mt 8:8) and expresses both our unworthiness to receive Jesus and our confidence in the power of His merciful love.
In the eighth chapter of Matthew’s gospel, a Roman centurion approached Jesus asking Him to heal his servant who was dying. Jesus was about to go with him when the Roman stopped him, saying, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof, but only say the word and my servant will be healed.” He had total confidence in Jesus and knew that a word from Him was enough. Jesus was deeply moved by his faith and said, “Amen I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.” As you might imagine, the Gospel account ends with the recovery of the centurion’s servant.
The reality is that the centurion was not worthy to have Jesus come into his house, and we are not worthy to receive Jesus into our souls. Recognizing our unworthiness before God is essential to our relationship with Him. The same is true in human relationships. A good husband is forever grateful for the love of his wife. When she says, “I love you,” could you imagine him saying, “Of course you do! I’m awesome!”? The words of our Lord, “This is my body, which is given up for you,” are at least as profound as the words “I love you” from a spouse. We should respond in total humility and gratitude. We should be forever grateful for His unfathomable love for us and the power of His words, which heal us and enable us to receive Him. Though we are never worthy of Him, that He should love us and show us such mercy is an act worthy of Jesus, who is love and mercy itself.