There are several places in the Mass where Catholic Guilt seems to be promoted. I can see where it can be interpreted that way, but when you dive in a bit, the meaning really changes. For example, as the priest raises the consecrated bread and wine together, he says, “Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” The people respond, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
That does sound a bit guilt-ridden, doesn’t it? But all of these statements are taken from scripture, and our response is a beautiful reference. In Matthew 8:5-13, a centurion approaches Jesus, telling Him that his servant is paralyzed and suffering. As Jesus offers to come and cure the man, the centurion replies, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” Sound familiar? This was not coming from a place of guilt, but from a place of absolute faith, respect, and humility. This was a recognition of the authority and power of Jesus. Jesus doesn’t need to enter in order to be effective. We aren’t even close to worthy of His presence, yet the very next thing we do is receive Him not only in our homes, but in our very bodies as we approach the altar and receive the Eucharist. No, we’re not worthy, but to Jesus, we are totally worth it.
Scripture references for the priest’s statements:
“Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world” – John 1:29
“Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb” – Revelation 19:9