under my roof – not worthy

21 Mar

Ludlow Falls in winter

 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 what we say before receiving Holy Communion.

We find these words (sort of) in two of the four Gospels, with a couple details differing.

In Matthew 8:7-8, the centurion comes to Jesus himself, asking for a cure for his servant. When Jesus says, “I will come [to your house] and cure him,” the centurion responds, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof [the roof of my house]; only say the word and my servant will be healed.”

The words in Matthew are closer to what we say at Communion, but the words in Luke are closer to what we mean when we say them.

In Luke 7:5-7, the centurion, being a non-Jew, sends elders of the Jews, maybe thinking that they will have a better chance at getting Jesus’ ear, and asks them to ask Jesus to come [to his house] to cure his servant. The elders tell Jesus that the centurion “deserves to have you do this for him.” But when the centurion hears that Jesus is coming toward him and his house, he realizes that he does not deserve to have Jesus do this for him. He sends his friends, people who know him better, that is, to Jesus to tell him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof [the roof of my house]. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed.”

Hmm. I do not deserve to have you do this for me. I do not consider myself worthy to come to you. I am not worthy to have you come to me. But say the word and I will be healed.

Lord, I am not worthy

that you should enter under my roof,

but only say the word

and my soul shall be healed.

I am not worthy to come under “his” roof: I am not worthy to walk into “his house,” to kneel in its pews and or to approach its altar.

I am not worthy to have him come under “my” roof: I am not worthy to have him in my house, where I live.

I am not worthy to receive him under the roof of my mouth in holy communion.

As I pulled into the driveway of my retirement home for the first time, I walked into the doors of my new place with a realization and a prayer: 

Lord, I am not worthy

that you should enter under my roof,

but only say the word

and my soul shall be healed.

3 Responses to “under my roof – not worthy”

  1. Charlie Kneipp March 21, 2015 at 11:46 am #

    Thanks for sharing with us your new home, it’s a pretty place and it looks peaceful and inviting. I think you will find your new place warm and peaceful. Thanks for sharing the pray. As I think about this prayer, we are not worthy of the many blessing we have but we can be grateful and very thankful. God does for us what we can’t do for ourself. God wants more for us than we can ever imagine. I’m happy for you and for your new home. Jane

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. mary sue vilardo March 21, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

    May God’s blessings always surround you . Thank you for sharing. You can write, read, and relax ( I hope ). This is what the Lord is sending for you.
    Mary Sue

  3. hopevoices March 21, 2015 at 9:19 pm #

    Humility….God showers His blessings on a humble soul. May you, and I and all who come HIs Table always feel so unworthy and feel more and more unworthy.

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