…For I am not worthy to have your enter under my roof…but say the word and my [servant] will be healed.
These are familiar words, said every time we celebrate a Eucharistic Liturgy. When we say those words are they simply ‘rote’ or do we say them with the same honesty, humility and vulnerability that the centurion said them? Do we seek Jesus to bring healing and peace to all that is important and valuable to us?
Today would have been my mother’s 89th birthday. She died two years ago, six months after being diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer, never having smoked. I remember her saying, ‘no treatments, just Hospice…I want to live until I die’. She had a deep and profound belief that with God at her side, (within her in Eucharist), her last days would be filled with life. Lord, I am not worthy, but only say the word…There were no miracle cures, but there was a peace and a certain ‘life’ within her. A sadness and yet a confidence that she would soon see the Lord.
Like the centurion, she knew to turn to Jesus. I wonder if I would have the same courage and trust. Can I go beyond my ‘authority’ as the centurion did, and rest in the authority of Jesus. Maybe the question is do I simply know about Jesus, or am I willing to really know Jesus?
Faith Offman is the Associate Director of Ministry at St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat and Conference Center in Detroit, Michigan.