A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Saturday, July 01, 2006

What the "roof" means

A little over a week ago, a design director for the St. Petersburg Times wrote an article lamenting the change in the translation of the Mass recently approved by the U.S. Bishops (may the Lord bless her) .

"Now, the church wants to change these words to, 'Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.'

"My roof? Where is the emotion in that? Where is the feeling? What does it even mean?"

The answer comes in today's Gospel (Matthew 8:5-17):

When Jesus entered Capernaum,
a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
"Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed,

suffering dreadfully."

He said to him, "I will come and cure him."

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."

The current English translation of the "Lord, I am not worthy..." (in Latin, Domine non sum dignus) is clear, but generic and blandly functional.

The "new" translation is not generic. It is a direct quote of the very words spoken by that soldier nearly two thousand years ago. It brings us immediately back to that wonderful moment when that soldier stood before the Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh, deeply aware of his own unworthiness and completely trusting in the Lord's power to heal.

That is what the "roof" means.

That is what we celebrate: not just the here and now and the eternity that awaits us, but also the very special presence and action of God in history, nearly two thousand years ago, in the earthly ministry of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

"Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant will be healed...."

And Jesus said...
"You may go;
as you have believed,
let it be done for you."