the joys of unworthiness
"I am not worthy to have You enter my house." —Luke 7:6
Before receiving Jesus in Holy Communion, the Church leads us to pray: "Lord, I am not worthy to receive You." This is not putting ourselves down but expressing the greatness of our awesome, all-holy God.
When we realize God's majestic glory, we conclude that He doesn't owe us anything. Thus, we see life as a gift and a privilege. We are not worthy to pray even for a moment, and to have God's permission to pray always is shocking. It is obvious that we are not worthy to receive the body and blood of Jesus. It is less obvious, however, that we are not worthy to suffer and die for Jesus. What an honor to be persecuted and even martyred for the Creator of the universe and the Savior of the world!
When we realize that Jesus alone is worthy (see Rv 5:2, 9, 12) and we are not worthy, we get in touch with the reality of our humanness. Then we see ourselves as unconditionally loved and superabundantly showered with His mercy. Our every breath is a grace. We are chosen even to be children of God. Our unworthiness makes it clear that God is unconditional Love and that we can abide in that love and in Him (1 Jn 4:16). "Lord, I am not worthy."
Prayer: Father, thank You for immersing me in grace, love, and mercy.
Promise: "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me." —1 Cor 11:25
Praise: St. Cyprian, writing in the third century, was one of the earliest writers to defend the primacy of the Pope. He was beheaded for his faith in Jesus.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Divine Love on audio AV 52-3 or video V-52.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 7, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 12, 2002