Centurio Epistula - Humble Access
In the Gospel lesson for the 17th Sunday after Trinity Jesus said, "whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" [Luke 14:11]
In these words we are reminded of the Centurion of Capernaum when he
said to the Lord that he was not worthy to have him come under his roof, but that if Jesus would only say the word, the Centurion's servant, who was near death, would be healed. Jesus marveled at the faith of the Centurion.
We also recognize that the Centurion knew who Jesus was, and rightly humbled himself before him. Just as we wish to emulate the faith of the Centurion of Capernaum, we should also emulate his humbleness before our God. Jesus said in today's gospel that the host of the feast would call the humble guest forward to a seat of honor. That day in Capernaum, Jesus implied that the Centurion would feast with Abraham at his Father's table when he said, "Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven".
In the Anglican traditon there is a prayer of Humble Access that
captures these ideas and traditons,
"We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen. "
Visit the Internet Chapel of the Centurions to see the entire homily
from the Order of Centurions.
Primary Web Site is down, Visit the Order at www.geocities.com/OrderofCenturions