Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tuesday word, 09 Oct 2007

Tuesday, 27th Week (09 Oct 2007) Jon 3.1-10; Ps 130; Lk 10. 38-42
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Divine Hospitality

I would like to have seen Jonah’s face when the people of Nineveh turned from their evil way, and God repented of the evil [God] had threatened. The story of salvation history, if told from God’s side, may be described as God ever offering divine hospitality to humans.

We are like Jonah, not only reluctant to allow God to work in and through us; we easily envy how solicitous God is toward others. In our objective moments, God’s hospitality--namely, God welcoming everyone because God desires all people to be saved--astonishes us and makes us more receptive to God.

Not only does envy violate hospitality. Many other stresses can move us to violate it or neglect it. Good Martha--as good as her sister and brother--is a fine example. We readily understand Martha’s anxiety and worry because we have worked to prepare for guests and welcome them and attend to their needs.

It isn’t good form, to say the least, to argue in front of guests or bark orders at them. In the Mediterranean world it was, and remains, worse form to bring someone outside one’s family to settle a family dispute. That’s what Martha did: she asked someone outside her family to settle a family dispute when she commanded their guest, Jesus, “Tell [my sister] to help me.” If Mary violated hospitality by not helping her sister, Martha violated hospitality more strikingly.

This leads me to suggest to you an examination of conscience for today: Ask Jesus’ spirit to enlighten your hearts and minds. Then consider this question: “How do I spurn the divine hospitality, which Jesus extends to me at every moment?” Prayerfully considered that question can help us turn anew to Jesus and even make our good form better.
Wiki-image of Christ in the House of Martha and Mary is in the public domain.

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