for Sunday, July 18, 2010
Today we are invited to reflect on our hospitality, how we receive others,
how we treat strangers and on our ability to understand God's constant
presence in our lives.
The first reading, from the Book of Genesis, is the basis of the famous
icon of the Holy Trinity by Rubloff. The teaching of Genesis in this
passage is very clear: when we receive strangers and treat them as honored
guests, it is God Himself that we receive into our homes. This teaching
comes down to us also when we hear of St. Martin of Tours giving half of
his cloak to the cold stranger or when we hear of St. Francis kissing the
leper. God is present in the stranger, the naked, the sick, the repulsive,
etc. Most of us know that only at the level of intellectual understanding.
Normally we don't test it by these extreme actions - but perhaps we should.
The Gospel is this wonderful story of Mary and Martha, which sometimes is
used to justify the contemplative life. We can easily imagine the busy,
busy Martha getting frustrated because Mary is just sitting there,
apparently doing nothing! This serves as a good reminder to all of us that
we can get so caught up into doing things for our Lord that we forget to
spend time with our Lord.
When we visit good friends, we usually visit them to spend time with them,
not to have them rushing about doing everything for us except spending time
The second reading today, from the Letter to the Colossians, tells us
this: it is Christ in you, the hope for glory. It is he whom we proclaim,
admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may
present everyone perfect in Christ.
Do we even begin to understand that Christ is in us? That Christ is in
every other person? That our hope for glory is in knowing and serving
Christ in one another? Even if we try only once in a while to live this
mystery of Christ present in every other person, our lives would be so
changed. Even if we don't believe, taking one day to act as if we believed
that God is truly present in each other person could change our lives so
These readings today invite us to live in the presence of God, striving to
live out our belief that God is always present to us, that God is present
in every situation, that God is present in other people and especially in
the stranger. May God open our hearts and our beings so that we can
worship Him by serving Him in the other person.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: