It used to be, as I’m sure you remember, that after the elevation of the host in the mass, we’d say “Lord, I’m not worthy to receive you, but only the say the word and I shall be healed.” But now, since the language of the mass has been revised, we say exactly what the Centurion says in today’s reading, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof,” which is more concrete, and physical, and almost awkward, but in a good way. We have to concentrate a little more when we say it.
The sequence is important: first the elevation, then these lines, then communion, so that when we open our mouths and take in the host, Jesus is entering into the house of our bodies, coming under the roof of our heads.
And no, we are not worthy. We’re not even paying attention usually, and what’s amazing is that Jesus keeps trying anyway. He keeps trying to get through our thick skulls, past our preoccupations and anxieties and trivial distractions, our skepticism, our selfishness. He offers himself again and again.
All we have to do is trust him. All we have to do is respect his authority and submit to his authority, as the Centurion does today. Open ourselves up. And he will come. He will enter into us. He will become us.