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.