Commentary on the Gospel of
Daring the Word
The words of the centurion – “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed” – so astonished Christ that we have incorporated them into our celebration of the Eucharist. What do those words reveal? First of all, it acknowledges the overarching authority and power of Christ – the Word of the Father, the Word that created everything in the universe. If the Word can create, the Word can recreate and revive as well. Secondly, the words of the centurion acknowledge his own unworthiness, almost eliciting a comparison with the response of Isaiah (cf. Is 6:5) at the vision of the holiness of God. Finally, the words also dare Christ to speak the word and effect healing, in spite of the unworthiness of the petitioner. Only a soul with deep faith and trust in God’s goodness and love can utter such words to Christ. As we pray these words in the Rite of Communion, what meanings do we intend?