Please see the information in this bulletin for the retreat Br. Silas Henderson SDS will give here at Pius on Saturday morning, August 24, from 9 to 11 am. You can sign up to attend on our website or by calling the parish office. Please take advantage of this opportunity. This will replace the reflection which had been scheduled for Tuesday evening, August 27th.
I thank Fr. Patric for his continuing service to our community. I hear good things about how well he has adapted to his new role. Congratulations!
On the way to a doctor’s appointment, I went by the parish on Wauwatosa Avenue. I thank our “Garden Angels” for their wonderful work on the flower beds, as well as our maintenance man, Neil Krumenauer, who keeps the grass cut. Our property looks wonderful!
I have received a notice from the diocese that we have not even reached 50% of our parish goal in the stewardship appeal. We use the services provided and we need to support them. Please contribute, if you have not yet done so. There are extra envelopes in the back of church, if you have misplaced your mailing.
Our readings continue with a focus on law, this week zeroing in on love of God shown through love of neighbor, especially through the virtue of hospitality.
Hospitality was obligatory for the Jews and Abraham gives an excellent example of true hospitality: he took the initiative, not making the others ask or beg for help; he framed it as they doing him a favor, so as to enable them to feel good about the situation and not beholding; and he gave them the best of what he had, not left over scraps. Most importantly, he sat with them while they ate: he gave of his time and attention.
The Gospel story of Martha and Mary picks up the theme of true hospitality. Martha thought she was being hospitable, preparing food for the guests, etc. But she was not paying attention to her guest. One might ask, whose needs was she fulfilling? Mary, on the other hand, made the guest the center of her attention. Yes, the needs of the guest need to be taken care of, but the guest needs to be the center of attention. It is both…and.
There are many ways we can apply this in daily life. I tell Ministers of the Eucharist to the homebound that spending time listening to the person is as important as giving them the Eucharist, for both bring Christ to them. Serving in a soup kitchen or giving a beggar some money on the street: yes, they need the food and the money, but they need human interaction, they need to know they are someone who is valued, they need to be made to feel like a person, just as much as they need the food and the money. Abraham is a perfect example of this: he didn’t just give food to his guests; he sat with them while they ate.
Reflection for the week: is my natural inclination to be more like Mary or Martha? In my interactions with others, do I give them my full attention, truly listening to them? Or do I simply “give things” to them or “do things” for them? Jesus was right in front of Martha and she was missing it. In what circumstances am I doing the same? What can I do to be more attentive to people?
And let us support each other’s efforts in prayer.