LIke Martha, Abraham has control of his household. He moves quickly; they all respond in haste to his orders. It is not just the servants but Abraham and Sarah themselves who engage in the service of hospitality. The “little food” is a lot; a steer would have provided five hundred pounds of meat, or less if you consider the breeding stock of that time, but still. In return the divine guest, the Lord present in the three, offer a greater gift to Abraham and Sarah, a son! dThe Psalm responsorial praises people like Abraham and Sarah as exemplars of the just and holy person.

In both stories, one is left to wonder what the conversation under the great oak tree was about, or whatever Jesus was telling Mary. Moses or Luke do not tell us. Perhaps this is left up to our imaginations, or to suppose that the conversations were about friendship, holy love, laughter (God forbid that a Catholic should think that Jesus laughed!). What would you have heard at one of these meals? What would you have said or asked? What gift would the guest give you? What do you have to offer the guest?

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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