40 Lenten Lessons on the Mass.

Lesson 37: Behold the Lamb of God

Now we are ready for Holy Communion. The rubrics state: “The Priest genuflects, takes the host and, holding it slightly raised above the paten or above the chalice, while facing the people, says aloud:

“Behold the Lamb of God, Behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those who are called to the supper of the Lamb.”

“And together with the people he adds once:

“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

LORD I AM NOT WORTHY. These are some of the most famous words ever spoken and they are repeated daily by tens of millions of Catholics at Mass right before Holy Communion.

And the person who first spoke them? He was a Roman Centurion whose servant was deathly ill. Jesus told him he would come for a visit, but the Roman soldier — an honest and humble man — shook his head and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof. Just say the word, and my servant will be healed.”

Jesus was so moved by this man’s humility, that he worked the miraculous cure immediately and on the spot and marveled at this man’s faith and humility.

Humility is an elusive, but necessary virtue. Saint Josemaria once wrote: “You are not humble when you humble yourself, but when others humble you and you accept it for Christ.”

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