Friday, June 26, 2009

Not Worthy

June 27, 2009
Saturday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

“Is anything too marvelous for the LORD to do? At the appointed time, about this time next year, I will return to you, and Sarah will have a son.” Because she was afraid, Sarah dissembled, saying, “I didn't laugh.” But he said, “Yes you did.” Genesis 18:14-15

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. Luke 1:46-49

The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.” Matthew 8:8-10


Lord, I am not worthy to receive you. Only say the word, and I shall be healed. We thank you for counting us worthy to stand by your side and to serve you. Amen.


Servants have a central role in today’s Mass and I do not mean the celebrant and the people in the pews. They do too. I am just not talking about them today.

Some of the servants in these stories are obvious. Abraham greets the strangers but then has his servants (slaves?) help to prepare the water for cleaning the Lord’s feet, bread to serve, meat, and more. Abraham also assists in the service to the Lord after he calls upon others to help.

The soldier brings his request humbly to the Lord in Matthew’s Gospel. The centurion is an officer and has the ability to command others to action. However, he, too, recognizes his limitations and comes before the Lord in humility and service – not by making demands.

Peter’s mother-in-law could probably bask in the fact that her son-on-law had his miraculous friend cure her miraculously. But rather than sit as his feet listening to him preach, she served the Lord. Her service may be seen as an act of gratitude for the gift of healing that she received.

There are many kinds of service depicted in these readings. However, we can not ignore the fact that Jesus also put himself into the position of servant to his people. As a leader, he received the wishes and requests presented to him by the people of faith. As a servant, he fulfilled those requests.

By acting on these petitions, the Lord shows that no one is unworthy. As the button reads, “God Don’t Make Junk.” By acting on these petitions, the Lord shows that everyone is worthy of his service, healing and grace. By genuinely taking on the mantle of humility, we are lifted up by the service that the Lord provides to us when he answers our prayers.


Where can you be a servant-leader this weekend in your own household? In your parish? To the Cursillo team in formation for the women’s weekend?