Genesis 18:1-10; Ps 15 He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord; Colossians 1:24-28; Luke 10:38-42
During the time when Pope Benedict was resigning, I found myself looking back over some of the memorable words of wisdom he left us as the Successor of Peter.
Here is one that was striking:
"The world promises you comfort; but you were not made for comfort you were made for greatness."
You were not made for comfort but greatness.
How do we become great?
The answer that comes to mind is simple, we become great by imitating greatness.
Now, notice I didn't say by imitating great people. No, we become great by imitating greatness.
Who is greatness? God. God is greatness himself. So if we are called to not settle for comfort but truly become who we were created to be in being great than we must imitate God.
Now that may seem a bit much.
Imitating God is the path way to greatness. Now, I didn't say trying to be God, but rather imitating his actions.
Abraham does this in the first reading. He spies the three travelers and he greets them and welcomes them into his home. He sets them under the giant oak tree to get some shade from the sun and then he prepares a banquet for them.
He creates space and time for these guest. He does just create a little time, he spends all day preparing a meal and gives them the best place in the house.
This may not seem like much but wait a minute.
Think back to creation. What are the first two gifts of creation: God creates time and space for us. He creates the earth and the sun and moon and stars with you and I in mine.
God is very hospitable to us; he opens up eternity and creates space and time that we may have life.
The word hospitality simple means to be open. God opens himself to us as Abraham open himself to the travelers.
What about us? How are we open? How do we create space and time for those we encounter daily in our life?
Sure, we are pretty good at creating space and time for people we like or fine attractive or are part of our inner circle but what about for everyone else.
God created space and time not just for the so called "good" people but for every one the good, bad ugly, indifferent and so on.
We too must imitate this reality with everyone god puts in our path.
Go back to the first reading, Abraham give us his space and time and the gift is returned to him. The travelers respond to his hospitality and generosity by informing him his wife who is barren shall have a son.
Life is found where there was no life before.
Isn't this true for us? When we open our lives to another and create space and time does it not feel like we have finally begun to live.
It is a risk certainly. It is a risk to our comfort; God wants to shatter our comfort zone. Besides comfort will eventually fade and ultimately lead to death.
Greatness is eternal. This is where we must fix our attention.
Why do we struggle with hospitality and openness? Why do we look suspicious upon folks rather than see then as a lot like us, our brothers and sisters, who have been space and time by the hand of God?
I think we are a lot like Martha in the gospel, we are busy with many things and we have lost our focus. Like Mary we need to rediscover the one thing necessary: sitting at the feet of Jesus in prayer and meditation.
Normally when we pray we busy ourselves with telling Jesus what he needs to do, well that is coercion not prayer. No! We need to learn to be still, to sit quietly, to receive Jesus as he comes only then can we receive others as they come to.
Action with out prayer is sterile and empty
Here is the challenge. We need to set aside time to be with Jesus at least an hour a day. We owe to ourselves and more importantly we owe to the people of God who long to look upon the face of God int he face of those who say "I believe."
"The world will promise you comfort; you were not made for comfort, you were made for greatness."