Hospitality Reigns
Malvern Minute

 

May 22, 2017 – Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Saint Rita of Cascia

Jesus stood in the midst of his disciples and said to them: Peace be with you.  Alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (16:11-15)

We set sail from Troas, making a straight run for Samothrace,
and on the next day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi,
a leading city in that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony.
We spent some time in that city.
On the sabbath we went outside the city gate along the river
where we thought there would be a place of prayer.
We sat and spoke with the women who had gathered there.
One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth,
from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened,
and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention
to what Paul was saying.
After she and her household had been baptized,
she offered us an invitation,
“If you consider me a believer in the Lord,
come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us.

 

Reflect: If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home. After Lydia listened to the instruction by the disciples, she and her household were baptized, and she opened her home to them. Through her baptism, she was blessed with the gift of hospitality. This example from the Acts of the Apostles demonstrates a generous welcome to the disciples. Clearly, we are to support and welcome those men and women who labor in the vineyard to minister to us and who dedicate themselves to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the world. We need to support one another in making Christ known. At the same time, it gives us pause to consider our willingness to welcome the migrant, the refugee, the foreigner, the poor, the sick, the disabled, the weak, and the rejected. The gift of hospitality is not just to be extended to those with whom we are comfortable; but also to those who are different from us. May God give us the gift of hospitality, to prevail on others with his love, and to provide welcome, comfort and solace to people in need.

Questions: How has my life been touched by an experience of welcome and support from others? How might God be asking me to show hospitality to others?  Why would hospitality be considered as a gift from God?

Pray: Loving God, you instruct us with a generous heart that gives beyond measure. Help me to imitate your love and to welcome my brothers and sisters exhausted and tried by the journey of life. May the extension of hospitality help others to come closer to you.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

The Lord is my portion; he is good to the soul that seeks him.  Alleluia!

Saint Rita was born in 1381 in the town of Roccaporena in Umbria, Italy. She lived with a brutal husband and had two sons. After the violent murder of her husband, she urged forgiveness in contrast to the customary vendetta of her day. Becoming an Augustinian nun in Cascia, she spent some forty years in prayer, contemplation, and service to the sick and poor. Toward the end of her life, in a vision she received a wound from a thorn from Jesus’ crown of thorns. She died in 1457 after a long illness. She is the patron saint of those in desperate situations.

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