As faith communities gather to be nourished at the tables of the Word and the Eucharistic meal of sacrifice and thanksgiving, we celebrate the opportunity and grace of memory and sharing.
We are reminded every time that we’re called to be children of Light. Led by the presider, as Priest and Victim, we too offer ourselves as host and guest, asking in the introductory rite “not to be wrapped in darkness of error, but always to be seen to stand in the bright light of truth.”
The Word today at the tables of encounter challenges us to respond worthily to the call to authentic hospitality. Often, we benefit from the intervention or mediation of an intuitive ‘point person’, like Elisha’s servant. He was visionary, though found wanting, seeking to compromise truth by corruption. Yet, he eventually experienced redemption.
God rewards those who are charitable, showing love, to His friends. So, we too are moved to recount the goodness of God, His reliable and dependable promises, faithfulness, kindness, and justice through all time!
If we believe that we are in fact ‘chosen’, called to be holy and are ‘royal’ under our King, we should do no less than live in the grace of the newness of redemption, every day!
It will not be easy. Whilst we’re assured of rewards for making good choices and considering the good of the other, love or charity often places us as easy targets for persecution.
Witness the plight of the Christians in India being targeted for practising their faith. Consider the emerging issues on the international landscape which impact us here in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and Latin America.
The outfall of the global pandemic reveals increasing focus on non-traditional security issues, especially public health restrictions and prescriptions. But rushing for money or reputation serves no-one any good. Witness the recall of medical research papers in the reputable medical and finance journals this past week.
The hitherto labelled conspiracy theory of mandatory vaccination for access to practically all services and consumer provisions is quickly manifesting as real and roiling for governments, corporations and citizens.
The ‘chip’ has already been accepted in parts of Europe as essential and even trendy. Ask the questions: at what cost? Who benefits? Can the economy bear the burden of risk and compromise of personal and corporate integrity? What are the values we articulate and practise as we pursue development, partnerships, and border controls?
Scholars are asked to lead, research, and use cross disciplinary approaches to policy co-operation, medical solutions, and relationships in strategic communications for the common good. How does our indigenous knowledge factor in all this?
Here the philosophy and practice of authentic hospitality shines light and rewards choice. Whether at home, in church, in the public service office, at the corporate or national negotiating table or in the virtual environment, hospitality requires more than the smile and superficial greeting.
The welcoming environment of love requires skill sets of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, prophesy—all offered as spiritual gifts of service. It’s not just the ministers, but you and I are called to this choice. Preserving life requires following rules, regulations, and protocols, using the Love lens. Inviting visitors to our church exposes them to a cross cultural experience which any of us should be willing to mediate – not buff or sideline or command!
Let’s make each other feel special, wanted, welcomed, included in the family of God. Each of us is host and guest. God rewards those who are loving to His friends!