Sunday 17 July 2022 – WELCOMING THE LORD

16th Sunday of the Ordinary Time

1st Reading: Genesis 18:1–10a

The Lord appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre, as he sat in the entrance of his tent, while the day was growing hot.  Looking up, Abraham saw three men standing nearby.  When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them; and bowing to the ground, he said: “Sir, if I may ask you this favor, please do not go on past your servant.  Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet, and then rest yourselves under the tree.  Now that you have come this close to your servant, let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves; and afterward you may go on your way.”  The men replied, “Very well, do as you have said.” Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah, “Quick, three measures of fine flour! Knead it and make rolls.” He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer, and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it.  Then Abraham got some curds and milk, as well as the steer that had been prepared, and set these before the three men; and he waited on them under the tree while they ate.  They asked Abraham, “Where is your wife Sarah?” He replied, “There in the tent.” One of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have a son.”

2nd Reading: Colossians 1:24–28

Brothers and sisters: Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church, of which I am a minister in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God, the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past.  But now it has been manifested to his holy ones, to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory.  It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.

Gospel: Luke 10:38–42

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.  She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.  Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”

The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.  There is need of only one thing.  Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

WELCOMING THE LORD: In most parishes, when a bishop is coming to administer the sacrament of confirmation, parishioners normally expect him to come in a car. When they see his vehicle coming, they go out to meet him with dance and songs. But if a bishop happens to arrive in the parish for confirmation riding a bicycle, parishioners would be disappointed. People tend to welcome visitors depending on how they present themselves externally. A person driving a car is welcomed differently from a person riding a bicycle.

Before the eyes of the Lord, we should welcome both the person driving a car and the one riding a bicycle in the same manner. The Lord will not feel welcome into our midst if we discriminate others based on wealth or social status.

Abraham received strangers who did not appear to be very important people in the society, but the good thing is that he gave them a good reception. God was pleased with Abraham because Abraham did not look down upon the strangers. By welcoming strangers with a good heart, Abraham welcomed God who promised him a gift of a child (Gen 18:10a). Mary the sister of Martha, by listening to the teaching of Jesus, she gave Jesus a very good welcome, even as Martha gave her a good welcome by administering to his needs.

Prayer: May all people welcome your son by listening to his word and acting according to it.