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Hospitality

By Fr. Jim Fitz, SM

Today’s Gospel passage gives us wonderful guidance for our community this academic year. When Jesus enters the Sabbath meal, the Pharisees are carefully watching so they can trip him up. Not very hospitable!! After the opening line of the Gospel, there is an event omitted by the lectionary from the story. Jesus cures a man who has dropsy. The Pharisees watch to see if Jesus would cure on the Sabbath. Again not very hospitable!! Jesus too is observing the Pharisees. Jesus invites them not to sit in the place of honor; he invites them not to take themselves so seriously. When we come to a banquet we should not be concerned about our own importance. We all sit at a round table. This sense of inclusive community is an essential part of our Marianist educational institution. We are to be of one heart and one mind; all bring a gift to the table. As today’s Gospel story ends, Jesus points out that our being blessed by God should lead us to a sense of inclusive hospitality. We should model the generosity of our God—invite the poor, not those who can repay us. So what direction does this Gospel give to our community? Be careful of being judgmental! It is not very hospitable! Be generous as our God is generous! Jesus asks us to consider inviting the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind—any one ostracized from our community. Can we invite someone to share life with us who might be the one ostracized from our community? That’s being hospitable!!

Rev. James F. Fitz, S.M.

Vice President for Mission and Rector

University of Dayton

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