“And also with… your spirit?” oops….
Yes, even a year later I still catch myself saying the “old” Mass responses… and Yes, I do realize I’ve been to Mass about 368 times since it’s been changed (AT LEAST). But just recently I’ve been having trouble with one response in particular.
It’s the phrase directly after we say the Lamb of God when the priest elevates Jesus in the chalice and the host.
Now we say, “Lord I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
Last year, when I found out that we were changing that phrase, I was devastated. My whole life I had said that prayer and I felt very attached to it. Throughout my life I had never left the Church, but as a teenager I definitely went through a period of doubt and skepticism of the Church and especially the Eucharist. However, It was THIS phrase that played a major role in my mini-conversion and journey back to a great love of the Church and an intense love for Jesus in the Eucharist.
So when I heard that that the phrase was being changed, every fiber of my being revolted. The poor Sister who told me that phrase was being changed… I was not a happy camper. She found that out right away.
The first time I actually heard the new response I thought to myself, “Why the heck are we talking about roofs in the middle of Mass??” I remember complaining to Jesus about all the reasons why I didn’t like this new response: It was weird that we were talking about roofs…I thought it sounded awkward…I liked the word “receive” and now it wasn’t there…It didn’t “draw me into the moment”…blah, blah, blah…
In the midst of my soliloquy of complaints I had the revelation that no matter how much I complained, the phrase wasn’t going to magically change AND (most importantly) if I truly believed that the Catholic Church was founded by Christ and that the Pope, who is the head of the church, is a successor of Peter and Peter was chosen by Jesus Himself, THEN I had better listen to what the Church had to say because Christ speaks through His Church.
Needless to say, once I accepted this, I’ve found that the words “aren’t so bad”.
One day at Mass I was praying with this phrase and I was deeply struck by the beginning, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof…” As I said these words in unison with the rest of the congregation, I heard them in a new light.
I thought about how I am a human person, both body and soul, made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, I am a temple of the Holy Spirit. I am a temple. So as I say this response, I am really inviting the Lord into my temple.
I then reflected on how often I’ve “dirtied the temple” by my sin. This is when I was hit with the power of the second part of this phrase, “…but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” By one word Jesus can restore the “cleanliness” and original beauty of my soul. There is so much more to it but, as Catholics, we believe that through the power of the Sacrament of Confession, our souls are restored to their full beauty. This is why it is so important to go to confession. We ARE NOT worthy to receive this incredible and wonderful gift of sacrifice, but when we are healed, when we are restored to worthiness through confession, we ARE able to worthily partake of this beautiful sacrifice. Jesus loves us so much that He wants nothing more than to be intimately close to us. Who are we to deny Him that closeness? Let us go to confession often so as to prepare our “temple” to receive the Body and Blood of our Beloved Jesus!