This virtue is one of the well-known good traits of Filipino families. In ordinary situations, hospitality is shown, when friends and relatives are welcome to stay in Filipino houses. I recall how the head of the family had to give up his room for a guest. Since there wasn’t any extra room in the house, he improvised part of the living room as his bed-room. In the book of 2 Kgs 4:8-11, 14-16 (1st reading) we find the biblical background of hospitality. It is the story of Elisha and a woman who treated him hospitably and was rewarded justly.
To be hospitable is obviously not an easy thing. It can demand a lot of time and convenience, not to mention financial resources. But hospitality is part of Christian charity, which is at the center of Jesus’ teaching (Mt. 10:37ff). Try to reflect on your reactions. One day you’re extremely busy and rushing out to work. Then the doorbell rings. A neighbor whom you know stands at the door. He’s depressed over a problem, and needs your time and a sympathetic ear. Would put up an excuse and leave him behind? Or would you take a little time out to listen to him? You might consider listening to petty problems a waste of time but that little time and inconvenience may mean everything to a distressed person.
We should be careful that we perform our acts of kindness and hospitality to people not because of their high position in society or that we want something in return. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes is clear: “If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Do good, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High” (Lk.6:32).
Obviously, we are only human, and naturally we expect something in return, albeit a bit of thanks or appreciation. But as Fr. Robert Mohan said: “There is no reason for not extending help, merely because the recipient is not sufficiently or appropriately appreciative. Some of us would wash the feet of our neighbor, only if we were sure that those feet were clean already. Christ doesn’t tell us to help out the nice people.” Let us continue to do good even if our good deed is not recognized or appreciated, remembering that every good deed will not go unrewarded. Take it from Christ’s words: “He who welcomes you, welcomes me.
This Sunday’s Gospel enjoins us to love God above all things. This means that our life is to be devoted to God. We can learn a lesson from our pet dog. The dog lives for its master who feeds it. 24 hours every day, during the day and during the night, it guards the master’s home. At the approach of a stranger, it barks and barks, to inform the master of someone unknown; that could rob the house or harm the person. Let us imitate the dog, devoting our thoughts and actions to God from whom we owe everything. May we be ready to suffer anything, be it death, for God’s glory and the welfare of the children of God!
Who is a Christian Steward? Christian stewardship applies to everything---all personal talents, abilities and wealth; the local, national and worldwide environment; all human and natural resources wherever they are; and the economic order and government affairs; and even outer space.
This first week of July, we have the feast of St. Thomas, the Apostle. He is the Patron Saint of builders, India and Pakistan. The next day is our Independence Day. On the 7th, it is the First Friday Devotion Mass of the Sacred Heart. All the other days of the week are optional memorials. This is for now, watch for the next bulletin. God bless!
Servant and Parochial Administrator,