Ordinary Time, 13th Sunday (A) In the stranger-danger world of social distancing, hospitality has become a lost art. Hospitality tells a person, "I may have never met you before, but it is a good that you exist." All of our best friends were once strangers. Even our spouse used to be a stranger until you welcomed them into your life and they welcomed you. This is why St. Benedict instructed his monks to welcome every guest as Christ. What would happen if our families lived by that motto?

Thank you for welcoming me into your hearts, your homes, and your parish. Your presence has been a blessing to me, and I hope that my presence has been a blessing to you. I hope you will welcome your new pastor with the same hospitality that you welcomed me. Why does the Diocese move priests? I can think of three reasons:

  1. Training. You start with easier parishes and work up to bigger and more complicated ones.
  2. Getting the best coaching. Every priest has different gifts and asks different things from his people. When we rotate priests, the people keep growing and the parishes stay well-rounded.
  3. Connecting people with Christ. My job is to connect people with Jesus, and not with me. I help you grow in your faith and then step out of the way. Jesus will still be here teaching you and loving you.

I hope that you have seen Jesus in me. We all know that priests are called to die to themselves so that Jesus can live in them. But this is also the job description of every Christian. Do people see Jesus in you? Today Jesus welcomes you into His home and feeds you with the Eucharist. Open your heart today and let Jesus be the Guest of Honor.

(28 Jun 2020)

Going Deeper: Read more about the treatment of guests from The Monastery of Christ in the Desert, Chapter 53: Reception of Guests

Thank you Sue, and Sue's dad too!