Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Reflection #2: Monday

18 September 2006
Monday of the Twenty-Fourth Week of the Year

Luke 7: 1-10

Earlier this summer, the bishops of the United States approved a new translation of the Order of Mass, which is now under review by the Vatican. This is a new English translation of the original Latin texts of the prayers that are the same in every Mass. These new texts, which are more literal translations of the Latin, will prove to be very good for the Church, because they will in many ways bring out more of the richness and beauty of the prayers, which are a celebration and expression of our faith.
Today’s Gospel offers us an opportunity to reflect on one example of a prayer that is being newly translated. Currently, when the priest elevates the Host before Communion, saying “Behold the Lamb of God…” the people respond “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and I shall be healed.” The original Latin text is inspired by the words of the Centurion in today’s Gospel, and more accurately says: “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. But say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
Our minds turn to the Eucharist. Who are we that the Lord should come to us, should enter under our roofs? Who are we that the Body and Blood of the Lord should become one with us? And yet He does come to us!
In humility and in awesome wonder, we join with the Centurion in every Mass, crying out “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof.” And, seeing our humility, Jesus comes to us, full of love and mercy. In the Eucharist, we meet Christ face to face. We are nourished and healed.
Jesus was impressed with the faith of the Centurion, who trusted in His power to heal his servant. If Jesus came to earth today, would he be impressed with our faith? Would He see us celebrating the Mass with reverence and care? Would He find us willing to profess our faith in the Eucharist? Our faith is not only our own. It is meant to make an impression on the world around us, in order that we may draw others closer to Christ.
The Centurion, we recall, was spoken of very highly by the elders, who said that “he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.” Despite the great things we may have done in this life, our very existence depends on the grace of God. We are not worthy of the Eucharist. Yet, that is how much Jesus loves us. Despite our imperfections, He comes to us anyway. May we never take this tremendous gift for granted. Instead, may we thank God always that He has come under our roof.

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