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Homily For Ordinary 13 - Year A
Friar Sydney Mascarenhas. O.F.M., Ph.D


     The following Homily is provided by Friar Sidney as a way
     of enriching the ministry of the Word as presented through
     this web site.  Friar Sidney, who has spent much of his
     ministry in India, is currently a Professor of Philosophy
     in Rome.  He can be reached at smascarenhas@ofm.org.  The texts
     used by Friar Sydney come from the Roman Lectionary - which in
     most points agrees with the Revised Common Lectionary.

    
READINGS:
II Kings 4:8-11.14-16a;  Romans 6:3-4.8-11; and Matthew 10:37-42.


INTRODUCTION:
Today's readings really baffle me.   May be they baffle me
because all of them touch the mystery of hospitality in our
lives.  Let us meditate on this bewildering action called
hospitality.


HOMILY:
Peter gives Maria a present. 
Maria says:  "O Peter,  how sweet! Thank you very much."
Peter responds: "You are welcome!"

There is something very bewildering about this little
interaction. 

In today's culture of outlay, credits, debits and profits, 
interaction like this is a key to good business . It has become
an asset.  A smile, a polite word, a gracious gesture and a small
gift are keys to attractive business.  

But the readings of today are even more stunning.

In the first reading, a woman, a non-Jew, surprisingly shows
hospitality to a Jew.  A Sunamite woman gets her husband to build
a little room, so that a regular passerby could have a place to
rest and study at their home. 

In the second reading, we are told that Christ died for all of
us.  He died so that all of us can have a new life.  The
Trinitarian God, who is so much a stranger in our lives, still
shows hospitality towards all of us.

The Gospel is even more stunning.  In all cultures, we know that
love and respect for one's parents is very precious.  The Gospel
reading tells us that the love of Christ is even more precious
than this basic human love.  And again, the Gospel is filled with
beautiful examples of hospitality.

Talking about Hospitality, I am reminded of the story of the Arab
and the Camel.  I am sure you know that story.  Ultimately in
that story, the Camel ejected the hospitable Arab from his tent.  
The host became a victim of his guest! However, this story stops
there.  The victimized Arab gets angry.  The Camel sleeps snugly
in the tent..

That is it.  Hospitality always bewilders.  It implies a person
who is a Host and Victim of his guest. 

But Gospel Hospitality implies much more than the story of the
Arab and the Camel.  The Love of the Triune God for humankind and
His Hospitality towards them bewilders me even more. 
See how the Triune God lets the sun shine over the good as well
as the bad!  See how the Triune God lets the darnel remain side
by side with the good seed,  lest the good seed be damaged  in
the process of weeding!  Hence, there seems to be no limit set to
the Hospitality of the Triune God --- the Creator, the Redeemer
and Sanctifier of all humankind!

Human Hospitality is often limited by the rules of profit, gain
and blood relationships.  Do we realize that God's Hospitality
knows no such rules?  

Precious, indeed, are the physical bonds and material interests
that determine our human hospitality.  But more precious is the
spiritual bond  which should guide any hospitality.  The Love
which the Triune God reveals to all human kind gives human
hospitality its true colour.  
This is what Jesus Christ is telling us today. 

We cannot be children of His Heavenly Father unless we are
brothers and sisters of whoever our neighbour is.

Do we realize that the Triune God says You are welcome even to
convinced atheists?  This Hospitality of our Triune God is really
stunning!  

Shalom!

   
copyright - Friar Sydney Mascarenhas and  Rev. Richard J. Fairchild - Spirit Networks, 1999 - 2006
           please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these sermons.


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