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16C19. Genesis 18:1-10a. Abraham understood that God held him responsible to be hospitable to the guests that he sent his way. Abraham responded generously to the guests God sent to him. “One of them,” perhaps God himself promises that Sarah will have a son a year later when he will return. Abraham gave much but God, far more.
Luke 10:38-42. When Jesus arrived, Martha assumed that the traditional hospitality was the duty that she had to attend to immediately. Jesus saw it differently. On his arrival Jesus felt that it was his duty to bring divine life to anyone who wished to receive it. Heaven had a greater responsibility to offer hospitality than earth because what heaven has to offer is far more important than what earth has to offer. The Lord said to Martha in response to her concern that many things needed to be done: “There is need of only one thing.” “Mary, who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak,” was seeking that one thing that was necessary: the love of God that enables us to be as loving as God is loving, by opening ourselves to have Christ live in us sharing his divine life with us. In this Sunday’s second reading, Paul declares what Jesus had already made known to Mary, the mystery that was hidden for ages: “it is Christ in us, the hope for glory.” In John 17:26, Jesus says, “I made known to them your name (that is, God himself) and I will make it known (continue to make God known), that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.” The only way to have God’s love in us is to have God himself in us. Jesus said in John 15: 5b: “Whoever remains in and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” The fruit that we will bear is his love and the results of having his love within us. Jesus is calling upon us to make his presence within us and his never ending hospitality of his being our life source. His hospitality is his pouring his life into us as the core of our lives. Without him pouring his divine life or grace into us we become just another animal of this earth, spiritually dead.
Colossians 1:24-28. “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church.” It is not natural but rather above the natural to rejoice in sufferings. I have always thought of what is natural to the living beings of this world is to seek pleasure or good feelings and avoid pain and upset. Although this definition is quite simplistic I think it is helpful. As long as we are in this world there must be some degree of suffering and pain. This world is not paradise. In John 14:27 Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” Did Jesus have peace on the cross: humanly, no because his body was racked with horrific pain; spiritually, yes, because he was at one with the Father’s will. We live in a world that was paradise but with the tree of good and evil: something good and something bad. Until we are in heaven completely and totally separated from what is evil, there must be pain and troubles.
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