Meggie, Walter, Isabel, and I have enjoyed welcoming Harry into the world, and that has had me thinking a lot about hospitality. Hospitality, the art of welcome, has been at the core of Christianity from the very beginning.
Most people take great pride in welcoming people into their home for a meal or to stay for a few days. But I have been wondering how can we translate that into our parishes.
For far too many people, even for many who attend Mass on Sunday, Catholicism is an anonymous experience. They come and go from church on Sunday, nobody says hello or goodbye, nobody tries to involved or engage them a little more.
From this anonymous position it is easy to drift away from the Church. If nobody acknowledges that you are there then it is easy to believe that nobody will notice if you are not there.
This month I want to challenge you to become even more a people of welcome. When people come to your home, give them an experience of hospitality that is world-class and like they have never experienced. This is a very real and practical way to demonstrate God's love for our guests. And in our parishes, let's spend time, effort, and resources working out how to become a people of welcome.
I am writing this the night before my surgery and I want to thank everyone for their prayers and support. Your cards and emails have been overwhelming. Please know that I am grateful.