Saturday of the Thirty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
November 14, 2020
Third Letter of Saint John 5-8; Psalm 112:1-6; Luke 18:1-8
As we move toward the end of liturgical Ordinary Time and the beginning of the new liturgical year with the first Sunday of Advent, the Church focuses our attention today on two virtues that are proper to those who wish to one day live in God’s Kingdom; hospitality and faith.
Hospitality is the virtue of extending or sacrificing one's self to the needs of another or others. Genuine hospitality requires that you put yourself out of center stage in your own life, so that others may have what they need from you to be whole, comfortable, or at home. At its simplest, hospitality is considering the others as a distinct person and not an extension of your own needs or wants. To be hospitable, I have to place myself in another’s shoes, and to imagine myself dealing with her or his struggles in life. There is hospitality in the sincere listening to another and attempting to comprehend the reality of their concerns, hopes, and even desires.
A second virtue that we are challenged to grow into in today’s readings is that of faith, especially faithfulness on behalf of justice. The wicked judge in Luke’s Gospel was frightened that the widow would “come and strike me” because she was so passionately persistent in challenging him to serve her need for justice. She had faith that her persistence would undermine his determination to be neglectful. Jesus tells us through His parable not to disparage God’s willingness to respond to us. He reminds us that unless we really remain full of faith even in the face of God’s seeming inflexibility in our regard. For if we disparage, we may not be open to receiving what God can do for us.
Friends, God knows that we often express desires which may not be the desire of our hearts, so God allows us to continue asking until we ourselves want it badly enough to be able to receive it when it is given! Therefore, our persistence is the very tool that God can use to hone our desire into the deepest possible desire for justice and for all other gifts which are truly good for us.
As we move through the month of November and toward the new liturgical year, we are called to pray for ourselves and others for the gifts of hospitality that witness God’s fidelity to us—and for the gift of faith that opens our hearts to God’s love within us.
Question of the Day: How will you offer hospitality and the faith that conquers sin and death to all the people encounter?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me open eyes and a compassionate heart toward the needs of others, that I may always fulfill Your commandment of love. Amen.