« back to all posts


By: Father David Marcham on September 18th, 2023

Print/Save as PDF

Jesus' Healing Word - Weekly Homily Video

Healing the family  |  Return to the Church

How many times have you said the words, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed?”

It’s kind of a trick question because before 2008 and after Vatican II, we used to say, "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word, and I shall be healed."

So roughly 52 Sundays per year times 15 years equals seven hundred and eighty times we have professed what a Roman centurion said to Jesus over two millennia ago! Now, keep in mind that the centurion was a Gentile, not a Jew, which makes the story even more incredible.

The Importance of Relationships

What caught my attention this time in reflecting on this gospel passage is the relationship between the town’s Jewish elders and the centurion. Normally, we think of this relationship as hostile. But in this case, it’s because of a good relationship that the elders serve as a bridge between the centurion and Jesus.

When asking Jesus to heal the centurion’s slave, they say, “He deserves to have you do this … for he loves our nation, and he built the synagogue for us.” Right there, we see how a nonbeliever is drawn to the Jewish people and their faith, and as a result, they are grateful for his help. I believe that’s a good reminder for each of us that how we interact with others can serve as a positive to leading them to faith in Jesus. It can be as simple as welcoming someone to your neighborhood, school, or workplace as well as acts of assistance in providing for the material needs, including sending over some pizza for a family going through a difficult time.

The Power of Jesus’ Word

What we also see is that in the centurion’s words is his deep sense of Jesus’ holiness and his unworthiness to have Jesus enter his home. But at the same time, recognizing the power of Jesus' word to heal his servant by word alone. That centurion believes that Jesus doesn’t have to be physically present to bring about healing.

Every time we say that prayer, “Lord, I am not worthy….” before receiving Holy Communion, we acknowledge our unworthiness to receive Jesus into our body and soul and yet profess that the word of Jesus can heal us. Most of us are acutely aware of our frailties and unworthiness before Jesus but what I believe God wants us to grow in is our trust that Jesus' word can and will heal us!

2,000-Year-Old Message Still True

St. Paul helps strengthen us with his words, “For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.” No matter what you hear in today’s world, St. Paul’s confession of Jesus is the truth about God and humanity.

My brothers and sisters, Jesus is the One through whom all people find healing and happiness on earth and eternal life in Heaven. Over two thousand years later, what that centurion professed is still true and life-changing; though we are not worthy to have Jesus enter into our homes and selves, his saving Word not only heals us but makes us His friends and through whom we share a Holy Communion.

  • To view the Rosary prayer and Mass streaming live, please visit our Facebook page at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, Monday – Friday. Please invite your loved ones to join us too! (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)




About Father David Marcham

Reverend David S. Marcham is the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Patrick Peyton, and Director of the Father Peyton Guild, whose members pray for Father Peyton’s beatification and spread his message of the importance of Family Prayer. Prior to becoming a seminarian, Father David was a physical therapist and clinical instructor, serving hospital inpatients and outpatients throughout the greater Boston area for eleven years. In 1998 he heard the call to priesthood and was ordained in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2005. Father David grew up in Quincy, MA, and has fond memories of playing soccer, tennis and running track. You’re never without a friend when Father David is around, as he welcomes everyone into his circle with a smile on his face!