As we gather in the midst of this blistering heatwave, we are challenged by one of Jesus’ best-known parables: the story of a farmer who sows abundantly, pouring out seed into soils of varying degrees of receptivity, and promising an abundant harvest.
In times of trouble, God lifts us up and offers us so much. That is abundantly clear in the three readings of today’s Mass. Different in authorship, different in style and content, they were originally destined to different audiences and cultures, but from early in the Christian experience, they touch the lives of all.
God's Word today invites us to reflect on hospitality, and more particularly, on how we welcome God's presence in our lives.
Today's first reading introduces us to a woman who welcomes the prophet Elisha first for a meal, and eventually creates a space in her home for him. The occasional guest becomes a part of the family. The result of this hospitality is a blessing on the entire household: the gift of a long-desired son. Hospitality should be life-giving, both for those who offer it and for those who receive it.
What a year it has been, especially the past three months! As we return to the Sundays of Ordinary Time, we do so filled with so many graces: the joy of the Resurrection at Easter, of the Lord’s promise to be with us “always, until the end of time” at his Ascension, realized in the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and deepened in our pondering of the mysteries of the Holy Trinity and of Christ’s self-gift in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. We have continued to celebrate and live these great feasts, even when physical distance prevented us from being physically together to share the Eucharist as we normally do.
On the Sundays immediately following the Easter season, the Church celebrates a series of “Feasts of the Lord in Ordinary Time”, highlighting diverse aspects of who God is, and therefore who we are, created in God’s image and likeness. At Pentecost, the Easter season was crowned with the proclamation of our identity as a Spirit-filled people, empowered and sent forth to bear witness to the One Spirit at work in a marvellous diversity of gifts, talents, and service.