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


I believe this is correct, the meaning has not changed that much. But its significance is certainly increased when we consider its scriptural basis.

And I strongly agree that the vernacular Mass should be as universal as possible in all translations. It seems to me, the danger in ignoring this necessity is that people who have a unique translation will fall into the trap of assuming there is something wrong with the normal version. I



“under my roof”

It cannot be said too many times.

“under my roof” and all it means physically, culturally, scripturally, spiritually.

A complete conference could be organized around those words and what they mean to our understanding of the Eucharist.

Co-habit. A strong word indicating the intimacy of living together.

“under my roof,” strong scriptural words indicating the intimacy of Jesus, the Christ, coming to live in my life.

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I kind of surprised at all the people here who are touting the benefits of a more literal English translation, but aren’t acknowledging that the “under my roof” in scripture literally meant a roof, not a mouth, your being, or soul.

Not to mention the other half of the prayer is not a word for word rendering of the scripture either. It is very different. It asking to heal ourselves spiritually. The scripture is asking to heal someone else physically.

So I really don’t understand the preference for the “under my roof” translation as being anything but sentimental. Many people here have even stated it is sentimental to them.

@John_Martin has said the prayer isn’t about receiving the Eucharist. But most people here seem to think it is about receiving the Eucharist;, which has nothing to do with the scripture anyway; so again, why the preference for a literal translation. And if it is about the Eucharist, no one has addressed the irony of the prayer being said right before receiving without spinning it up into some theological flowery mess.

At any rate, given all these issues, the previous translation was clearly better and hopefully it will be changed back.



Yes, my uncle Orville. Oh, and this guy who lives down the street…I think his name is???..no, I can’t remember his name.



You’re using the word ‘traditionally’ to describe it’s original vernacular usage that was only for a few years, I think 64’-70’. So it’s been in the previous translation for longer than the current one.

Also, I believe it was the American bishops who approved the “not worthy to receive you” translation of the 1970 Missal, if that’s right. I think it was wrong for Rome to redo it. I’m glad Pope Francis has put the authority back to the bishops. Maybe it will change in the next Missal.



Are you not ignoring the non-literal interpretation of the scriptural story? Its not just a story, but a story which is trying to tell us something.

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I have seen zero responses on this thread that I would interpret as sentimental. You saying you see no other meaning is an indication you are ignoring much of what people are saying.



The English translation is the scriptural translation. Scripture invites us to understand concepts far beyond mere words. I invite you to contemplate “under my roof” in that context.

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I agree. No more rational conclusion than that. :woman_shrugging:t2:



Under The Roof is about one’s home and myself being unworthy to have Jesus there.
Receiving is about a Guest in one’s home and myself being unworthy to have Jesus there.
Only say the word is asking Jesus to say something.

The Mass, the Eucharist, is Jesus saying something (only say the word) and giving you something to do.
His word: “Take eat; take drink.”

If you take him at his word, which you asked for, if you are obedient, if you eat, if you drink, then your soul is healed and your prayer is answered, without Jesus going under your roof; without RECEIVING Jesus as a visiting doctor in your house. Either way, roof or receive, Jesus healed you without going in your house, just like the Centurian did not receive him into his house.



Um, I was 5 when I was thinking it meant a mouth. I did figure out that it meant a real roof when I got a little older and read the relevant Gospel.

Edited to add: Although I told a childhood story in my post, the main point of my posts for the purpose of this thread is the Mass language conformed to Scripture before the late 1960s, and was more recently changed to conform to Scripture again. There’s no sentiment in that. The Scripture is what it is, and I’m not a fan of rewriting parts of it just for English vernacular use.

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It was said in Latin until changed to English in the ‘60s.

I wrote in my first response in the this thread that I have a missal from 1957 with the translated English words next to the Latin, and in English it says ‘under my roof.’ And as far as I can tell, it was always like that. So really, ‘receive’ was only used for 40 something years.

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And ‘receive’ was used with this following definition:

3Greet or welcome (a visitor) formally.
‘representatives of the club will be received by the Mayor’

  1. 3.1 Be visited by.
    ‘she was not allowed to receive visitors

’ receive’ is an unpoetic 20th century American Way of saying, “come under my roof.”

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Well I guess I made a mistake in thinking some posters were being sentimental.



I find “receive” to flow better in English. I don’t find “come under my roof” to be poetic at all. In fact it is very awkward in English. Maybe the Latin is more poetic; I wouldn’t know.

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Of course. I didn’t mean to say that you cannot tell the difference today.

But there are several examples in this thread of people equating “under my roof” with eating the Eucharist.

I am. I want the words to work for their purposes. The American bishops used a method called dynamic equivalence. I think it worked.

I also prefer “one in being” instead of “consubstantial”. I just think it works better, and flows better.

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‘One in being’ vs ‘consubstantial’

Back to that 1957 missal: The missal uses ‘one in being’ in the English translation.

But here the distinction is different. ‘One in being’ conveys a different meaning than ‘consubstantial’ which means ‘of the same substance.’ The English ‘consubstantial’ really is true to the Latin ‘consubstantialem.’

Someone here can probably explain this much better than I can, but ‘consubstantial’ is important here because Jesus is of the same substance with the Father, sharing the same divine nature.

The bishops at the Council of Nicaea decided to use this word because even though it does not appear in Scripture, it best describes Jesus’ relationship to God the Father, the same substance and nature.

Here is where I venture out onto a limb, to show why word choice here does matter: A person could profess Jesus and the Father are of the same ‘being’ but still deny Jesus and the Father are of the same substance. Which is why the word was changed to better capture the Latin meaning.



If this were the case, you would have to take it up with the translators of the 4th century. The Greek chosen by the Nicene Council was homoousion, which the Latins decided to translate as consubstantial.

One in being is a better rendering than consubstanctial for a number of reasons. Primarily, one in being contrasts with similar in being, homoiousion, a word that differs by an single iota and was used by Arians. Consubstantial does not really have that contrast.

An even deeper problem is that being, ousia, is unambiguous, while the Latin substance which translates ousia, is compositionally similar to another Greek word, hypostasis, person. Sub and hypo both mean below, while stance and stasis are forms of to stand in both languages. But substance does not translate hypostasis, it translates being. The fundamental “3 hypostasis in 1 ousia” became “3 persona in 1 substance.” If you are careful, there is no problem, but if you want to preserve cognates across languages, as the modern translators were to do, it can get messy.

Consubstantial has another problem that developed later. Consubstantiation was used in the debates over the Eucharist in a way that is in no way like consubstantial. In the one, two persons share one substance, while in the other two substances coexist. That creates an opportunity for complete confusion.

One in being is by far the clearer expression of the Greek chosen by the Nicene fathers.

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I looked up a couple of homilies about this for you because sometimes other people say it best. But we would have had to elaborate also.
I found that the original was “ to receive you under my roof”. I get it that in English it may not sound so smooth but it was like that…
I also found that Jesus also makes reference to knocking at the door in the “ poetical” sense as if we were taking about a house.
And Infound something by Benedict that left me thinking. And he has plenty of fabric to leave us thinking…
I will look for it again, edit and post it here.

Edited: Here is the passage) I found it reading this source. http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/letters/2012/documents/hf_ben-xvi_let_20120414_zollitsch.html

_“On the one hand, the sacred text must appear as itself as far as possible, even if it seems alien and raises questions; on the other hand the Church has the task of explaining it, so that within the limits of our understanding, the message that the Lord intends for us actually reaches us. Not even the most sensitive translation can take away the need for explanation: it is part of the structure of revelation that the word of God is read within the exegetical community of the Church – faithfulness and drawing out the contemporary relevance go together. The word must be presented as it is, with its own shape, however strange it may appear to us; the interpretation must be measured by the criterion of faithfulness to the word itself, while at the same time rendering it accessible to today’s listeners”

And last a homily about Jesus and the Centurion by St John Chrysostom http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/200126.

Hope it helps!

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Even more precisely than that Jesus “is the same substance” not “of the same substance”.

A substance is an individual being. Here the individual being is the one God.
Jesus Christ is the one God, the one substance.
The Heavenly Father is the one God, the one substance.
The Father is substantial; the Son is substantial.

The prefix “con” connects multiple things together with each other into a single unit.
Here multiple persons (Father and Son) are connected together as a single substance, a single being - God.


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