Honesty and humility are two of the most important ingredients in our growing in our faith. In today’s Gospel, the centurion (who would not have been a likely follower of Jesus) asks for the Lord’s help. When Jesus suggests He will come and heal his servant; the centurion responds with the words we remember in perpetuity: “Lord, I am not worthy to have You come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed!” A form of this statement has become our humble (and hopefully) honest confession before receiving Holy Communion – a recognition that we too are not worthy to have the Lord come to us as He does at Mass and as we receive Him whole and entire, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist.
We need to try to be honest with ourselves; admit where and when and how we go wrong, but also where and when and how we are weak. Honesty also means that we recognize that despite our sins and weaknesses, we are deeply loved by God and we cannot afford to get mired in any way in sin. I have had many conversations with people who misunderstand Catholic Christians as “too focused on sin” and that may be because there are some of us who come across that way – all we talk about is what is wrong with the world and people. That cannot be an honest assessment of the world we live in, because there are many people (I mean them every day) who are trying hard and trying their very best. This is NOT Sodom & Gomorrah, where we were hard-pressed to find even a few good people; good people are everywhere! If we have a hard time seeing that, we need to be honest about that.
We need to be humble as well; our faith, being Catholic Christians, is not about being part of an exclusive club. It’s about recognizing a loving God who has given us all that we need to follow Him and then we need to spend our lives “humbly walking with the Lord”. We humble ourselves when we confess our sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation; we humble ourselves when we do our very best and don’t expect anything for it in return; we humble ourselves when we consider God and others always and everywhere before ourselves AND we humble ourselves when we profess the words, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof, but only say the words and I shall be healed.”