Voices of Faith

The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Dear Friends:
Hospitality to the stranger and care for the one
in need are basic acts of charity that were central
to Jesus’ ministry of compassion and love. We
are motivated first by the golden rule, “Do unto
others as you would have them do to you,” which
at some level is a bit self-serving. But the higher
call is what we hear today, that our hospitality is
ultimately toward Jesus himself. The rule of Saint
Benedict, which is the model for the rule of life for
many religious and monastic communities, is that
in welcoming the stranger we may “unknowingly be
entertaining angels.”
Sometimes the call to such hospitality seems
like little more than basic manners and courtesy,
but when the conversation turns toward more
significant forms of welcome such as toward the
immigrant and the refugee, we must act to care for
those in need. As we celebrate Independence Day
this week, we give thanks for the blessings we know
as a nation. As we celebrate let us keep in mind that
many of our own ancestors came as immigrants,
many of whom did not find a welcome here because
of ethnic or racial discrimination. Today others come
seeking the same opportunities and freedom that we
cherish. The message of the gospel applies to them
as it does to us.
Here at Saint Joseph we take the call to welcome and
hospitality seriously. We are called to proclaim the
gospel and to encourage one another in following
Jesus as ‘missionary disciples.’ We strive to be a
place of welcome, and that call applies to each of us.
It is not merely a task for the staff or for greeters,
and it does not happen just by saying, “we offer a
warm welcome to visitors.” Be mindful of those
around you at mass and during parish events. Take
the time to introduce yourself to someone you don’t
know. You may unknowingly be meeting an angel!
Join us on the morning of July 4 for Mass at 8:30
a.m. as we give thanks for the blessing of freedom
and pray for God’s blessings upon us and upon our
country. We live in challenging times. May God
continue to shed his grace on us that we may live in
true and lasting peace.
God’s peace to you this week,

Fr. Rick