Fr Bob writes: The first reading and gospel for this weekend’s Mass both reflect on the blessings of hospitality. The human person, unlike many other lower forms of life, cannot live long without food and shelter. Biblical hospitality is rooted in these basic needs. To wish another well in the most fundamental fashion is to offer food and lodging. Neither is a superfluity; without either the guest would not long survive. We certainly practice these acts of hospitality, but one often wonders if we capture the significance. To invite someone to spend the night or to come to dinner carries a sense of the sacred, a very basic wishing well of which the one inviting and the one invited should be conscious. Awareness enriches what we do.
Moreover, to extend this spirit to a disciple of Christ is to facilitate the spread of the gospel, to be consciously missionary, to be a partner in the guest’s work. We might well meditate a bit on the next invitation we receive – and the next one we extend. St John, in his third letter, speaks about the sacred responsibility of the Christian, to welcome another disciple, especially a missionary, and “send them on in a manner worthy of God; for they began their journey for the sake of Christ, accepting no support from non-believers. Therefore we ought to support such people, so that we may become co-workers with the truth “ (3 John 6-8) Indeed, the letter to the Hebrews goes even further, stating :”Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it ” (Hebrews 13: 1-2)