THE IMPORTANCE OF HOSPITALITY IN CHRISTIAN LIFE AND THE NECESSITY OF LISTENING TO GOD BEFORE ACTING

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The central themes of today’s readings are the importance of hospitality in Christian life and the necessity of listening to God before acting. Jesus welcomed and tended to the needs of all, reflecting in his actions the very hospitality of God. The key to the Christian life is setting priorities: Jesus Christ first, then everything else. The only way really to learn that lesson is to spend some time every day, “sitting at the feet of Jesus.”

Today’s first reading describes how Abraham and Sarah’s hospitality to strangers was rewarded by God. The Gospel passage describes how Martha, a true child of Abraham, wanted to extend the traditional generous hospitality of her people to Jesus, the true Messiah, by preparing an elaborate meal for him, while her sister Mary spent her time in talking to him and listening to him. Presenting Martha as a dynamo of action and Mary as a true listener to the word of God, today’s Gospel invites us to serve others with Martha’s diligence, after recharging our spiritual batteries every day by prayer – listening to God and talking to God – as Mary did. We are able to minister truly to the needs of others only after welcoming God’s Word into our hearts and minds.

Excerpted from the homily of Fr Tony Kadavil available at http://frtonyshomilies.com

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