Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Hospitality is the key to understanding today’s Word of God. We see how Abraham, our father in Faith, welcomes three strangers offering them rest and sustenance. Little does he know that he is welcoming the Lord and His accompanying angel. Then in the Gospel Martha and Mary open their home to Jesus and as we know He always travelled with the entourage of the Twelve. Can you imagine how frazzled Martha was? Nonetheless their home and hearts welcomed the Lord. Some might say: “it’s too much trouble or I don’t have the time”. Surely our lives have become very busy and hectic but look at what we are missing out on if we let hospitality slide away– the lost opportunity to entertain the Divine.
In a similar sense Christ Himself becomes the host in the celebration of Mass. He invites, He feeds, He initiates the conversation, He welcomes all but the same excuse is offered–I’m too busy. Who loses out? No one but ourselves if we don’t respond to the gracious invitation of being in the Presence of the Lord. Jesus longs for us. He desires to speak to us and to feed us. What banquet could ever compare to the Table of the Lord? May we always return the hospitality of the Lord by welcoming Him into our hearts with joy and gladness.
Speaking of hospitality, how often have we found it such a comfort to go to grandma’s house. Beginning today we recognize the grandmother of Jesus, the mother of Mary, as we pray the Novena to Saint Ann. This devotion has always been a special mark of the Diocese of Scranton especially since we have the Basilica of St. Ann in our midst. I very much encourage our parishioners, especially families, to make a pilgrimage to the Shrine in Scranton. Many graces are to be gained in making a pilgrimage as you pray for your special needs and those of your loved ones.