Monday, August 5, 2019

Monday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

The Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 53:16-24
Mass: Nb 11:4b-15; Resp Ps 81; Mt 14:13-21

I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

Yesterday and today, we hear the wisdom of St Benedict contained in Ch 53 of the Holy Rule, "The Reception of Guests". Monasteries are never without guests (53:16); hence, the importance of Benedict's insistence that they be welcomed with due honor and respect. Much is said in the first two verses of the chapter: "All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35). Proper honor must be shown to all, especially to those who share our faith (Gal 6:10) and to pilgrims." Guests are to be met with the courtesy of love (53:3); all humility should be shown when addressing a guest on arrival or departure (53:6); great care and concern are to be shown in receiving poor people and pilgrims (53:15). The following two quotations provide fitting summary of how to receive guests, whether they come to the monastery or to your home.

Jesus is the secret treasure of our hearts and we want to share that with our guests. And lo, He Himself comes to us through them. Let us rejoice in His visitation.
(Abbot Jeremy Driscoll, OSB, on welcoming guests to the monastery)

Always assume your guest is tired, cold, and hungry, and act accordingly.
(Native American Proverb, on a small plague that hangs in a friend's home)


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