September 1, 2011
Women have a gift for hospitality.  We have a knack for making our homes welcoming; we pay attention to the little details that make for comfort. We are interested in people, and our instinct is to care for them.

An illustration of the last point can be found in the gospel of Luke, "Jesus entered the house of Simon.  Simon's mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with Him about her.  He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her.  She got up immediately and waited on them." (Lk. 4: 38,39)  She was a Jewish mama.  There were people in her home and they needed feeding, of course she got up immediately!

In Matthew 25, the parable of the talents reminds us that God does not like stinginess. He does not want us to hoard what we have in the hope that at the end of all things He Who Has Most, Wins.  In fact, the opposite it true: it is when we give away what we have been given, that we receive more.

How can we give away our talent of hospitality to build up the Kingdom of God?

Three ideas came to mind:

1.  Befriend your pastor (and other religious in your community).
Get to know him. Take time to chat after Mass. Invite him for a home cooked meal. Include him in a family party, or bring him along to the game, the museum, the movie, according to his interests and availability.

2.  Reach out to the forgotten ones, such as the elderly.
This isn't as easy as it once was because volunteering involves getting a criminal record check done. Look closer to home though; are there older folks around who would appreciate a chat over a cup of tea, or an offer of help with the shovelling?  Or, if you are an older person with kids grown and gone, perhaps you could reach out to a stay at home mom who would appreciate some adult company an offer to mop her floors.

3.  Adopt a lonely singleton, such as a university student who is away from home and missing family. Invite them to share in your family Sunday dinner and send them home with leftovers. If you happen to be a lonely singleton, adopt a family with young children. They can almost always use an extra  pair of hands to help keep the home running smoothly.

It isn't only about doing our Christian duty; when we  use our God-given gifts, we feel satisfaction, we are meeting our potential, and are fulfilled, and our capacity to do more, to love more, grows.

God is never outdone in generosity.


  1. Hospitality is a gift and if you ask me, a virtue. Being myself a singleton noticed a major poverty among my sisters in this area. I've come to a couple conclusions about the subject: 1) inviting someone over for a particular time is the first gesture of hospitatlity. "come over anytime" easily becomes our way of seeming open, however, why aren't we willing to make that friendship a priority by carving out a specific time? 2) the other person's presence is worth more than the finest china they could serve the tea in. Your presence is your "duty of the moment" when you have company - not the phone calls, or entertaining the children, or emptying the dishwasher. 3) There's something also about having a hospitatlity of one's heart - a general openness to another. SO much loneliness could be aleviated if we let people in - saw them and allowed ourselves to be seen. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock (invited guest). If anyone hears my voice and opens the door (presence), I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me (intimacy)." Rev 3:20



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