Saturday, August 3, 2013

Time to talk?

Has anyone noticed the paving of the access roads of the Tailgate section at Bobcat Stadium?  Why?  Well while we know the more fans that come in spend money in many ways, Bobcat Athletics included. It also provides hospitality. Tailgate parties can and do cultivate friendships, provide opportunities for reconciliations between friends, neighbors, and family members.  Hospitality is at the heart of today’s readings.  We begin with the hospitality of Abraham.  This is what this icon represents, the hospitality of Abraham manifested in the Holy  Trinity.  It calls us to mutually accept and receive all as we would Christ. (a little Benedictine spirituality as well)   It is also symbolic of Eucharistic Hospitality; note the table, that invites us all to share in each others lives by our sharing in the Eucharistic feast.  Like Martha and Mary in the gospel; rather than hastily be busied with tasks, to take the time to rest in the Lord’s presence, so to know him better.

Recently the president of the United States made a unscripted speech about race.  He did not ask anything of the government, but asked all of us to have a serious discussion about race; beginning with our nations’ churches.  Since racism is considered an intrinsic evil in the Catholic Church, and yes this president is mixed race and like many like him has no doubt endured subtle racism over the years, an honest assessment of our own attitudes may be in order. In reviewing my own homilies, I have not spoken on this topic for a few years now so it is appropriate in the light of faith and the “signs of the times’ to examine this topic at this time from a Catholic perspective. I believe a lack of Eucharistic Hospitality, that we as Catholics are invited to share each week; allows for the fostering of division, suspicions, and fear. The results are all too often tragic. Of race, as a young man living in California, I had friends of many races and cultures.  I too often remember when as a group out for an evening at a concert, ballgame at Dodger stadium; all too often my friends who were black would be asked to show an extra ID, or their bag subject to more scrutiny and searches that me.  Getting a table in a restaurant always took longer with a mixed group. I assure you that not one of them was ever or has ever been arrested or has come from a family with a criminal background.  It was a perception based on fear, lacking the time to even acknowledge the human person.  Lacking the possession of a hospitality that I and we as Catholics call Eucharistic.

Hospitality that is Eucharistic leads to actions that nourish each person’s potential, providing affirmation and care. That we could recognize in each other, what we would like others to see in us. A simple, even syrupy idea but one that is at times most difficult to undertake.  For it requires time not in doing, but resting in the Lord’s presence.  It is the mass lived. Time to bring to the Lord all our prejudices and fears, sacrificing them on the altar to receive the Lord’s presence.  Perhaps that could be our post communion reflection today in the silence of our hearts.  That we may welcome Christ in all through the spirit of Eucharistic hospitality.

Welcoming Jesus.  After all as Deacon Steve said a few weeks earlier in his homily on the God Samaritan that Christ is our neighbor!  And Our neighbor is therefore every person of this planet. What may be lacking is our willingness to see God’s presence in all. If we could see each as cherished guest, as we all are in God’s eyes, we will be blessed abundantly in the amazing presence of Christ we will find in all.  There is room for more at that table, room to be in the presence of the Lord who dwells in all. My question to us is whom will we invite?


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