Recently there have been some people on the parking lot asking for money. Please do not give them any. There are legitimate charities to help the poor and needy. If you encounter anybody asking for money, let me know, and I will deal with them. Certainly, it is good to give to the poor which can be done through Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities, the poor box, and many other reputable agencies. As a matter of fact, Jesus encourages us to do that as noted in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man (Lk 16:19–31), and the story of the Last Judgement where the sheep and goats are separated (Mt 25:31–46). The sheep, those who have fed the hungry, given drink to the thirsty, and clothed the naked will receive the Father’s blessing and be invited into the Kingdom of God.
This week’s readings deal with hospitality. When Abraham sees the three men (Gn 18:1-10a), he knocks himself out to make them feel welcome. He runs out to greet them, bathes their feet, and has Sarah prepare a wonderful meal.
In the gospel (Lk 10:38-42), Mary and Martha show hospitality to Jesus. Mary gives Jesus her full attention by sitting at his feet and listening to him. Martha shows hospitality by preparing a meal. Both sisters show hospitality doing what they can to serve Jesus–Mary by listening and being with Jesus–Martha by preparing and serving a meal.
For the past year, we have been trying to be a more hospitable and welcoming parish with our greeters doing more at the doors. But hospitality shouldn’t end there. We should be welcoming inside as well. Instead of grudgingly moving our legs a bit, why not stand up to allow for easier access and give a smile as they go past. Or you could make the ultimate sacrifice by moving from the end of the pew to the middle. It’s only a small sacrifice but an easy way to love your neighbor as yourself.