Back to Podcasts
How to Listen: Subscribe (it’s free!) in your favorite podcast app.
Aug 31, 2021

“Lord, I Am Not Worthy”— Words That Made Jesus Marvel

Dr. Edward Sri

Who was the Roman Centurion who said, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you”? What makes his words so remarkable that they amazed Jesus and now precede the most important moment in Mass—the reception of Jesus’ body into our own bodies? Dr. Sri reveals how this surprising figure of faith and humility models the way we should approach our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in Holy Communion—and in all that we do. 

Snippet from the Show

  1. Who was the Roman Centurion? 
    1. Gentile – He’s not a Jew. It was daring for any Gentile to approach a Jew, so when the Centurion approaches Jesus, he knows he’s violating Jesus’ religious customs and norms
    2. Roman – The Centurion is enforcing the oppression of the Jewish people, meaning that he’s likely despised by Jesus’ family, friends, and community
    3. Centurion – He’s a Roman officer in charge of 100 soldiers leading the oppression of the Jewish people. 

  2. The Roman Centurion’s Humility
    1. “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter my roof”
      1. “I understand the customs of the day…that I’m viewed as unclean. I know how sinful I really am, and I don’t dare to assume I deserve your presence under the roof of my house.”  
      2. St. Therese recognized that great humility leads to great childlike confidence in God’s mercy

  3. The Roman Centurion’s Trust
    1. But only say the word and my servant shall be healed.” 
      1. Jesus marveled at this— why was he amazed? Because he saw the Centurion’s amazing faith in this request.
      2. Up to this point, Jesus has only performed “close up” miracles (e.g. touching the leper, clay in the eyes of the blind)
      3. Here, this Roman Centurion has such faith and confidence that Jesus doesn’t even need to touch his servant. Jesus has not demonstrated that he can perform miracles like this, but the Centurion has such trust that he believes Jesus can perform this “long distance miracle.”

  4. Let’s imitate this great humility and trust when we approach Jesus in Holy Communion. 
    1. Let’s show God how much we entrust ourselves to him, like children approaching a loving father. When we say “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,” at Mass, we remember how imperfect and unworthy we are of receiving Jesus, but we trust that God, in his mercy, will embrace and heal us.

Meet Your Host: Dr. Edward Sri

Dr. Sri is a theologian and the author of several best-selling books. He holds a doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. A founding leader of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), Dr. Sri currently serves as its vice president of formation. He appears regularly on EWTN and resides in Colorado with his wife, Elizabeth, and their eight children.

Has Ascension's free media strengthened your faith?
You can now offer ongoing support for this content with a recurring gift.
Support Ascension

Get your favorite Ascension content sent right to your email!