It sometimes seems that simple hospitality is not so important now: people in the world today focus too much on themselves. We have become fortified islands unto ourselves, planets floating forever alone in space. Hospitality seems a bit old-fashioned and all of us suffer for it.
Today’s readings remind us that we must practice hospitality: in our homes, in our lives, and within ourselves.
Hospitality essentially consists of just three things: preparing, inviting, and caring.
One reason we do not provide hospitality in our homes is that we are not prepared. “The house is a mess,” we say, or, “We’re really busy.” Too many of us are too ambitious in our day-to-day lives, resulting in confusion and stress that will cost us dearly. Being open to the blessings of providing hospitality means being brave enough to maintain empty places in our schedules as well as a certain order and neatness in our lives.
Another reason we do not provide hospitality is that we think it requires too much. Some guests can be high-maintenance, but ultimately the most important and valuable part of providing hospitality is caring for your guests. If you care, really care, you will succeed.
Hospitality is not just for our homes, but also all through our daily lives. We should be always prepared to take the time and give the space so that we will be ready when needed. To be sure, there are people who waste time uselessly and people who are dangerous. We should be prudent, but we should also be alert. During our day, we may come across someone we can help or someone who can bless us, with just a moment or two of hospitality and caring.
Finally, hospitality is something we must provide in our hearts for our Lord. Martha provided hospitality in her house, but her sister provided hospitality for our Lord in her heart. We must prepare hospitality for our Lord, making time and making space for Him. We must invite Him through prayer. We must reach out to Him with all our hearts and He will dwell within us and give us hospitality forever.