Isaiah 4:2-6; Psalm 121(122):1-2,4-5,6-9; Matthew 8:5-11
Every time that we receive communion, we say together the words of this 1st Century Roman officer - "I am not worthy to receive you under my roof". This is a remarkable statement, as a centurion was a person of considerable standing in his community, and likely quite well off, running a substantial household. He was talking to a member of the local community that he was ruling over, an itinerant preacher - hardly the sort of company he would have normally kept. There must have been something quite striking about Jesus's presence and reputation as a healer for this to have taken place - a key pointer to who Jesus really was and is. And Jesus is in turn astounded that one of those others, a non-Jew, an outsider, should come to him? Jesus responds by making him welcome, and uses him to point out that salvation is here, now for all.
Do we keep a place in our heart for this astonishing person? When we hold out our hands making a throne for the Lord, or present ourselves to receive on the tongue, are we deeply aware of who we dare to invite not just into our homes, but into our very selves? And are we able to accept that Jesus will take us all, wherever we are from, whoever we are, whatever we have done or do, into his kingdom?