By Kelly Wahlquist



But the centurion answered him, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof;
but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.
~Matthew 8:8

Growing up in Minnesota, there were two seasons; road construction and hockey. Hence, I spent many hours at my brother’s hockey games, standing frozen toed in ice rinks, and endured the dreaded hockey bag’s fumes.

One weekend, my friend Molly and I were dragged to her brother’s hockey tournaments: this meant Mass in a different church. On Sunday, Molly and I were sitting next to her mom in church. When it came to the part in the Mass where the congregation responded back, “Only say the word, and I shall be healed,” I looked over at Molly and whispered, “What is the word?”

Molly whispered back, “What?”

So more dramatically, I asked, “What… is… the… word?”

Molly looked at me and seriously pondering the question said, “I don’t know.”

Molly elbowed her mom and said, “Mom, what is the word?”

With her eyebrows crinkled, Molly’s mom, Kay, looked down at her and said, “What?”

Molly repeated, “What is the word?”

Slightly disturbed, Kay replied, “What are you talking about?”

“You know. The word! Only say the word, and I shall be healed. What is the word?” Molly said.

Looking more disturbed, Kay answered our question with, “Shazam.”

We thought about it for a while before we realized that it wasn’t shazam! How innocent was our clueless twelve-year-old curiosity to believe that our salvation rested on the recital of just one word?

We weren’t too far from the truth when we posed our innocent question, “What is the word?” For Christ does tell us that we must accept the Kingdom of God like a child, and there is but one word that leads us to salvation, and that Word has been since the beginning, and “the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).


Lord, help me have a childlike faith, always seeking, always asking questions that help me know and love you more.

Call to Action

Today, using reliable Catholic resources, take time to research a question you have about the faith.


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