Friday in the Octave of Easter
I have always liked to cook and bake, so it seemed a natural progression to invite others to share in the finished product. After I married and had a home of my own I worked on perfecting the art of hospitality. It is often a work involving many days to get the menu to coincide with a limited budget and the guests’ needs, the flowers and table set and the house tidy enough to feel comfortable inviting guests to come in and sit down and enjoy the bounty.
This month within the space of several weeks we enjoyed guests for a birthday luncheon and then Easter feasting. What a joy it has been!
Besides the physical components involved in the art of hospitality I have been pondering the whole idea behind the concept. Perhaps it has something to do with my earlier thoughts on Edith Stein and intercession.
This time, though, with Lent so close behind me the thoughts have paired up hospitality and betrayal.
There is a certain opening up of one’s self when an invitation has been offered and the accepted. The guest is met at the door and then brought into the inner sanctum of our home and shown the favor of our ministrations in many large and small ways.
How many times had the apostles and disciples been present at a meal with Jesus? Mostly it was simple fare, but the atmosphere was one of trust and confidence. Until Judas’ final act of betrayal. It is hard for me to fathom this brutal act in light of all that had been offered to him. And not just in the realm of the physical. Christ had given his love, trust, teaching and friendship. How could an apostle who was offered so much turn away his face and betray the Son of God to those who were hunting him?
Ah, but how we all do the very same thing! We who have been invited to the quintessential meal, offered food fit for a king, the very “bread of angels”, betray the host with our sin, come to the meal with dirty hands, forgo the invitation or pay no attention whatever to the host. What’s more he is offering Himself for our sustenance!
It is only a difference of degrees.
May we all strive with a holy strength never to betray this great King and his banquet of love. May we always and ever show Our Lord, the supreme Host, our true thanksgiving for such a great gift.
Then with our souls and hands clean, we may with good conscience follow suit and
“Practice hospitality ungrudgingly to one another”
as we read in the first Letter of Peter from today’s Office of Readings.
May you all take great delight in the feasting as the Octave and the Easter Season continue and may you offer hospitality to many as you ponder the great feast we are offered in our “daily bread”. Amen. Alleluia!