Homily – June 28, 2020

This Sunday’s readings invite us to reflect on another dimension of our lives, that of hospitality. In our first reading a wealthy woman convinced her husband that they show hospitality to Elisha so that he could have a place to stay and a meal to eat and a bed to rest. Elisa responds to their goodness by promising them a future son.

How good are we as a society at welcoming people into our company? We Canadians have a pretty good track record, beginning with accepting refugees from the Hungarian revolution in 1956. Then we welcomed people fleeing the collapse of Vietnam. As a parish family we’ve welcomed refugees from Syria and Iraq.

Jesus told the men he was sending as sheep among wolves that they would face hostility from many people but then added ‘he who welcomes you welcomes me and he who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. There is a ripple effect there.

Every day we can be challenged by the demands of hospitality, this demand of welcoming others into our lives.

The present social turmoil in the States about the prevalence and the impact of racism on the lives of millions of Black and people of colour can be the occasion for us to face the reality of this sin in our own lives. We shouldn’t be too smug about this.

To quote an American Black person, most white people go cradle to grave in racial segregation. Most white people do not have authentic sustained relationships across race, particularly with black people. I’m not talking about acquaintances. Show me your wedding album. That is a truer measure of who is in your friendship circle and sitting at your table.

Racism is an attitude of mind; it’s something we pick up by osmosis from family members and people with whom we grow up. Racism diminishes us as persons because it blinds us to the dignity and worth of our equals. We are all children of God.

In our opening prayer we prayed we not be wrapped in the darkness of error but that we always stand in the bright light of truth. He who welcomes you welcomes me and he who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.

A question; how valid is the welcoming mat at our door?