Yesterday Terry and I were babysitting our granddaughter and we took her to Church yesterday in Dover,where we celebrated with Fr. Andrew and the wonderful people of Dover. This was the first homily I had heard him preach since ordination, and he's really good. He started out by sharing how he missed an opportunity to be with someone he knew, who would have really enjoyed the visit if only for a short while.
So this homily got me to think about my old friend and how he had a neighbor who had posted a sign in front of their home....."No One Welcome". I am not kidding about this sign. This was always a topic of our conversations when we used to get together, and he always remarked how I kept bringing this up. He told me how different these people were and how they kind of shut themselves out from the world. As you can see I've never gotten over this experience.
Yesterday I was also checking over the Divine Office on my Kindle fire and noticed "About this week!" Usually I kind of gloss over this or actually ignore this. I felt drawn to read this information and it spoke of the meaning of Catholic. We all know that it means Universal, but what got me was the rest of the story. Catholic in the patristic and ecclesiological sense means ..............."Welcome...............Hospitality!"
Now as the plot thickens I'm putting the two events together. We all may have a sign pasted on our foreheads that reads "No One Welcome" whether we notice it or not to others in the world. How many times have I not been welcoming to others or showed them what true Christian hospitality is.Whether we realize it or not, we are all in the hospitality industry for Christ. Years ago I laughed at this sign thinking how ridiculous it was, when in fact I know that I was doing the same thing.
I'm not advocating to create sweeping changes in the Church, I'm advocating that it all begins with me and everyone who calls themselves a disciple of Christ. It is and will always be a daily challenge to rip that sign off of my forehead. With and only with the grace of God we can change and put on the new man as St. Paul would say. I'm sure God is saying, nice job my son, What took you so long to figure it out!"
Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,