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Lord, I am not worthy: Confession & Communion

January 23, 2015

This poem speaks about the cleansing power of the sacraments of penance and Communion that come through the mediation of the priesthood.

The Mass of the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany presents to us in the Gospel the story of the Centurion meeting Our Lord Jesus Christ and declaring his own unworthiness for the Messiah to enter under the roof of his house.

With the recent scandal of the distribution of Communion during the Manila Papal Mass in the Philippines, this poem concerning the cleansing and sanctifying nature of the sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist are quite consoling. Also in focus within this poetic tribute is the importance of the priest as God's mediator.

Lord, I am not worthy

"And Jesus saith to him... go, shew thyself to the priest." Matthew 8:4.

Lord, if Thou wilt,
Thou canst make me clean
.”[1]

I will. Be thou made clean.”[2]
Go... show thyself
to the priest
.”[3]

And so...
in His great mercy,[4]
He does cleanse me
from the leprosy of sin.

Whose sins you shall forgive,
they are forgiven them;
and whose sins you shall retain,
they are retained
.”[5]

So, says
the Word-Made-Flesh,
Who gives the power
to loose and bind[6]
to those whom He ordains
to be His ministers in like kind.
Neither the powers of hell,
nor the unbelief of heretics
can annul, or dispel
the Word of God...
He Who gives the power,
the authority to absolve.

Go... show thyself
to the priest
.”

And so, we obey.
For, we do
what the High Priest,[7]
Our Lord, the Truth
does say:

Every one that is of the truth,
heareth My voice
.”[8]

If you love me,
keep my commandments.[9]

Lord...
I am not worthy
that Thou
shouldst enter under
my roof
.”[10]

I, a sinner,
and Thou...
Almighty,
all Holy
God,
the great I AM.[11]
And...
who am I?

A worm
and no man;[12]
a dirty sod,
not even fit
to be
a child of God:
For, from dust,
I was taken,
and to dust,
I shall return.[13]

But, only say
the word,
O Word,
and Thy servant
shall be healed.[14]

And so...
through Thy
great mercy,
I AM...
I am reconciled.[15]

Take ye, and eat.
This is My Body
.”[16]

I am the living bread,
which came down from heaven.
If any man eat of this bread,
he shall live for ever;
and the bread that I will give,
is My Flesh,
for the life of the world
.”[17]

He that eateth My Flesh,
and drinketh My Blood,
hath everlasting life:
and I will raise him up
in the last day
.”[18]

O!...
the wonder,
the splendor
of these
great Sacraments...
Penance,
Holy Orders,
and
Holy Eucharist:
fountains of Thy grace,[19]
so bountifully immense,
flowing from Thy Temple,[20]
O Holy Eminence!

The Lord hath sworn,
and he will not repent:
Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech.[21]

And so...
We praise Thee
with one voice:

Let Thy priests
be clothed with justice:
and let Thy saints rejoice![22]


Footnotes

1 Matthew 8:2.

2 Ibid. 3.

3 Ibid. 4.

4 Psalm 50:3.

5 John 20:23.

6 Matthew 16:19, 18:18.

7 Hebrews 3:1, 5:5, 7:26, 9:11.

8 John 18:37.

9 Ibid. 14:15.

10 Matthew 8:8.

11 Exodus 3:14; John 8:58

12 Psalm 21:7.

13 Genesis 3:19.

14 Matthew 8:8.

15 2 Corinthians 5:18-20.

16 Matthew 26:26.

17 John 6:51-52.

18 Ibid. 55.

19 Ibid. 4:13-14, 7:37-38.

20 Ibid 2:19-21, 19:34.

21 Psalm 109:4.

22 Ibid. 131:9.