A Profession of Faith
Memorial of Ss. Cornelius, Pope and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs
“I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.”
The centurion in today’s gospel reading first spoke the words we now repeat at every mass, just before we receive communion. He did not share the Jewish faith with Jesus or others in Capernaum. But his faith and hope in Jesus and in his healing power was so profound that he did not need to ask Jesus face to face. “But say the word,” he said to Jesus in a message, “and my servant shall be healed.”
Jesus marveled at the faith of this man. He was a pagan. He was also a centurion, the commander of 100 soldiers who were part of the Roman army that occupied Capernaum and Palestine. He may not have known much about the Jewish religion, but he knew about Jesus. He believed that the power of God was alive in him.
Every time we repeat those words of the centurion before communion, we make a statement of faith. We have faith in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. We have faith in the powerful grace that is in our sacraments. We have faith that what Jesus did for that centurion and his slave he continues to do for us. We have faith in the prayers that the church, the people of God, offer every day. We have faith that God will continue to answer us, continue to heal us, and continue to help us follow his Son more and more each day.