Last Thursday was Thanksgiving, in the U.S., one of the truly great days to spend with family and friends. Hopefully, it was a day spent reminiscing about all the good – and maybe not so good – that has come and gone this past year (hopefully devoid of any political rancor), and before the second serving of dessert the plans for who will host Christmas were settled.
Look back at how much time and energy was dedicated by the host for Thanksgiving to make sure the meal was perfect and the home was spotless. Having guests in our homes for the holidays is always a cause to do a little extra deep cleaning. Entertaining special guests may mean that we even use the china inherited from grandma or pull the silverware chest out from underneath the bed and assign a child or grandchild to give it a polish. Heaven forbid that someone should enter under the roof of our house and find it less than perfect.
Fortunately, the meal we have with the Lord is not as burdened. Or is it?
At every Mass we are invited to Communion with our Lord, to share in the Body and Blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. And in response to the priest’s invitation to the supper of the Lamb, and just prior to kneeling, we say, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
These are some of same words the centurion uttered in Capernaum after Jesus responded to his plea to heal his paralyzed servant, when He said, “I will come and cure him.”
Why was the centurion reluctant to accept an offer to have the Lord come to his home, especially if it was to heal his paralyzed servant? Hopefully, it was not because he felt himself or his home unworthy, or that he feared there was not enough time to get out the best dishes and prepare a feast worthy of a king.
Are we, too, like the centurion, feeling that we are not worthy to have Christ enter under our roof and into our lives, because our house is not in order, literally or figuratively?
Guess what? It never will be.
We were born sinners, and sinners we will die, but therein lies the beauty, for the Lord knows full well of our imperfections. He asks only that we believe in the power of his love and his willingness to forgive our transgressions.
Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent and the start of the new church year. Advent not only reminds us of the birth of Jesus, but more importantly, his coming again. There He is, standing at the door, ready to enter under our roof and to save us; all we have to do is ask for it.
Today, as we spend time in our daily reflection and our examination of conscience, we ask ourselves how willing we are to let Jesus under our roofs. What are we afraid of? That our life is not in perfect order? Don’t worry! The Lord knows that our lives are messy and occasionally full of turmoil, but He is there, ready to enter. Let's let Him. Remember these powerful words: “For only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”