The master storyteller, Luke, moves swiftly from the parable of the Good Samaritan and the final command of Jesus to another story of hospitality on his journey to Jerusalem: the encounter in the house of Mary and Martha.

Both of these women show their own kind of hospitality, which is the bridge connecting the two gospel incidents. The lectionary chooses to provide the encounter of Abraham and the three divine beings at Mamre as an exemplar of this hospitality. The Colossians passage in the second reading alludes to this in the phrase, “it is Christ in you,” his indwelling presence, bringing the church to perfection.

For our summer travelers and family visitors, hospitality is a fine theme, but more so the current question of our national hospitality at the borders is surely on our minds and stinging our consciences.

A little note here: the universal calendar has a memorial for St. Martha, but none for St. Mary, the sister who chose the “better part”. It is coming up on July 29th.

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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