“I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof...” - theology overload?


It is no contradiction. I told him in the words in the mass that I am not worthy that he should enter under my roof, and I asked him to say a word that would heal me and the word he said that would heal me was, “Take and eat; take and drink.”
He did not ride with me 6 miles to my house to be received under my roof before I would be healed, even though I want him under my roof, I want to receive him. But, he gave me something right then and there to eat and drink, telling me the word to eat and drink, just like he did not go journeying to the centurions house to be received under his roof, but told to Centurian right then and there that his servant would be healed.

John Martin


I was trying to address the “irony”:

I mean to use a scripture, which presents an outsider being granted a favor because of his faith, right before we receive the Eucharist, of which, outsiders are not allowed to receive, despite their faith in Jesus’ ability to spiritually heal them.

We are outsiders, gentiles, and we should not be allowed to receive. We are allowed only by the grace of Christ, though it may look like we are allowed because we are Catholics.

It is more than just humility…


Ahhhh. Okay.

Well I’ll have to disagree there. Catholics receive, Protestants don’t, despite their faith. Pretty simple.


I don’t know where you’re getting that “word that would heal me” from. Are you referring to the Eucharistic prayer that the priest says? Or the Eucharistic minister saying “The body of Christ”?


I know this wasn’t addressed to me and how do you figure out what the post number is other than entering it in as part of the URL?

I think the point some of us are making is that the English wording from 1969 to 2012 was not only different from the original English version in use in the 1960s and our most recent English version, but was also different from almost all other language translations in use. Prior to 1969 we were all very clear that the reference was to the Centurion. As I stated in this older post Feelings on the New Translation of the Roman Missal? I never stopped hearing the prayer as that of the plea of the Centurion from scripture. I’m guessing it was the same for people my age and older.

But now many, if not most or all, of the translators are gone. We can’t ask them if they meant to get rid of the Centurion. To the best of my knowledge he’s still there in Spanish, French, Polish, etc.

While I disagree with those who think think “Lord I am not worthy to receive you,” was a bad translation, it was never a particularly accurate translation of the Latin.


Very much so. In this case the liturgy office recognized the change missed the mark, and went back to the earlier version that was truer to the scriptural intent.


I tell Jesus, " only say the word and my soul shall be healed."
Jesus’ authorized word back to me is, “The body of Christ.” And I take it from Jesus’ authorized hand and I eat it and I am healed just as his word said. It was all done right there at Mass; he did not have to come to my house to heal me under my roof where I would have received him as my guest.

John Martin


What is bad is that the word “receive” has two meanings. We say that we can receive a guest into our house, and we say that we can receive communion, in other words, we can eat and drink - consume Jesus.
The word “receive” confuses people to not remember the Centurian’s petition which was always present in the Latin.

John Martin


I understand this point. Yet, the translation was still changed after it had been used in English for several years… I don’t know how many. There must have been some merit to that change in the 60’s.


I believe that you are over-thinking this. Take those words at face value - our Lord did.




But don’t Catholics receive the Eucharist in faith? Faith that it is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ? What if there are people who receive the Eucharist, but don’t really believe in Jesus presence there?


“Say the word and my soul shall be healed”
The word he says to us is not the same word he said to the Centurian.
In the Old Testament a leper wanted to be healed and the prophet sent word to him to bathe seven times in the Jordan.
He was irate.
But his servant convinced him to take the word seriously and he was healed, cleansed.

Jesus does not say, “be healed”, to us; he says, “eat, drink.” Are we irate because he does not just say, “be healed”? Do we now have to eat and drink to be healed?

John Martin


There was some. I don’t think it was a bad thing that we wanted to have a liturgy with similar wording to that of our liturgical protestant brothers and sisters. The reason for the change that the sisters were taught and passed on to us was that the older language was not “ordinary enough” for us to take it seriously and pay attention to the meaning. Maybe that was true at the time since not everyone did understand Latin and were not always used to following along at every part of the Mass.

I don’t think it ever occurred to anyone that some of the deeper meanings of words would get lost over time. Do you know what I find strange? In the 1960s and 1970s there was a call for a greater knowledge and usage of Scripture in the Mass. Why lose a scriptural prayer that had been prayed for centuries?


I remember hearing something like this as well. I think I agree.

What deeper meaning? I’m not sure there is any. There are a lot of personal interpretations being given in this thread, but I’m not sure any of them have meaning beyond that particular individual. Hence the theology overload that the current translation has apparently caused.

As I’ve cited multiple times…The USCCB website explains the primary reason for the prayer is a profession of humility. Nothing else is mentioned. The previous translation was faithful to that without losing the scriptural basis.


I certainly do not intend this to sound negative, but have you found anyone else who thinks this is ‘theology overload’?


It’s not “new”. It’s the way the prayer had been said traditionally, using the words as written in Scripture. It was changed in the late 1960s sometime and then later changed back to what it traditionally was.

I remember the 1960s Masses that said it “under my roof” and then it changed for decades and then when I started going back to Mass around the 20teens sometime, being happy to hear the old wording again.

I see it as conforming the words of the Mass to what is in Scripture rather than making up some new wording. Nothing more, nothing less.

You’re not the first person on here to try to read something big into this change which, to me, simply isn’t there.


Ok, I suppose you mean this:

Do you have a source that states where you read the previous translation sufficed? I simply cannot see how that was the case, since almost everyone who is younger than 50 or 60 years of age had no idea that this part of the mass had a scriptural basis until the new translation came out. I realize that you said knowing the scriptural basis that was not important to you, but it certainly is to many.

More importantly, I do not think your post 65 addresses my question. The latin says the same thing as the current English translation, so why is the latin acceptable, but the English translation not acceptable? Other languages, certainly the Spanish which I am familiar with, also provide the more direct translation and brings the scriptural basis to the front.

Again, we need to clarify the disagreement, is it with that part of the mass or is it solely with the English translation. It makes a difference, I understand your position is that it is solely with the translation, but all of your comments about it would apply to the other translations and the latin just as much as it would to the English.


This is also why I remember it. I was about 4 or 5 and my mom had told me Jesus was in the Host and I saw people receiving Him on their tongues, so he was going into their mouth. He wasn’t coming to our house and being under the roof. So I thought about it quite a bit and decided it meant roof of someone’s mouth.


Ever since the change in language, I have just assumed the new language, like the old, pretty much had the same meaning but used the Biblical text and was more in line with the wording used in other languages, so that the vernacular Mass is as universal as possible in all translations.

“I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof” to me means"I am not worthy to Receive You", if you don’t take the “roof” literally. Think — your body is your home. So in that sense, when you take Communion, you Receive Christ into your home, under your roof. I don’t know if that is theologically correct, it is just the way I think about it.

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