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Saturday, June 30, 2007

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First Martyrs of Rome

Genesis 18:1-15
Luke 1:46-50, 53-55
Matthew 8:5-17

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hospitality and revelation

"Now that you have come this close to your servant, let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves." —Genesis 18:5

Abraham asked his three guests to do him the favor (Gn 18:3) of letting him wash their feet and bring them a "little" food (Gn 18:5). By "little" food, Abraham meant "a tender, choice steer" and a few hundred rolls, for Sarah used half a bushel of flour to make the rolls (Gn 18:6-7). This didn't even count the cheese or yogurt with the milk (Gn 18:8). Abraham was hospitable to the tune of hundreds of dollars and hours of work. He was sacrificially hospitable.

Traditionally, when the Lord gives the grace to give sacrificial hospitality, and we accept this grace, the grace of divine revelation often follows. After Abraham gave hospitality, the Lord revealed to him that he and his wife Sarah would miraculously have a son within a year (Gn 18:10). After Martha and Mary gave hospitality to Jesus (Lk 10:38ff), they eventually saw Jesus raise their brother Lazarus from the dead and heard the astounding revelation from Jesus: "I am the Resurrection and the Life: whoever believes in Me, though he should die, will come to life; and whoever is alive and believes in Me will never die" (Jn 11:25-26).

"Do not neglect to show hospitality, for by that means some have entertained angels without knowing it" (Heb 13:2) and have received divine revelation.

Prayer:  Father, may I love and suffer so much that I become hospitable.

Promise:  "Just give an order and my boy will get better." —Mt 8:8

Praise:  It was the seed of the outpoured blood of the First Martyrs of Rome that gave great life to the Church and provided an enduring witness to Christ for the ages.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 22, 2007

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