Today, in most parts of the world, is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ – commonly known as “Corpus Christi”. In observing this feast we reflect upon the great mystery and great gift of the Most Holy Eucharist, Christ’s own Body and Blood, which He gives to us so that we can commune with Him in this transitory life and be with Him for ever in the next.
It is useful today to consider the Gospel account of the Centurion and the words that he said to Our Lord – words that we make our own in Holy Mass, right before we receive Him in Holy Communion:
When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” – Matthew 8
(Incidentally, it is worth noting that our new and better translation of the Roman Missal, which we’ve been using for about a year and a half now, helps us to recognize even more readily the connection between the words we pray and their scriptural origins.)
At Holy Mass, as the priest elevates the host and chalice and proclaims, “Behold, the Lamb of God…”, we respond together: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
When we pray these words, we should think about the Centurion from the Gospel; we should consider his great faith; we should pray that the same Lord who healed the Centurion’s servant from afar will bring healing to our souls as he comes very near – indeed enters into us – in Holy Communion.
O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine!