Stewardship Spotlight: Hospitality Begins in Our Heart

Among the many powerful messages in the recently released movie, “Cabrini” about the life of Mother Cabrini (Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini) was her perspective on generosity and welcoming others. Many considered her views radical for her time. From the perspective of our own lives, we might also consider them extreme, if we consider how a truly welcoming spirit may place us out of our own comfort.
Mother Cabrini began her ministry in America by serving Italian orphans and immigrants in Manhattan. She challenged the establishment to serve and support others, reminding them that although they are now secure, to not forget that there are people who don’t yet have a place to call home. She reminded everyone that it is too easy to think, “I’m taken care of now. I don’t need to be looking around asking who else needs to be taken care of.”

Mother Cabrini followed Jesus’s teachings, the author of radical thinking and action, challenging the establishment and each of us today to think and act differently by putting others first.
What a wonderful opportunity we have as we enter the final days of our Lenten journey to reflect and act upon our own desire to model our lives after Christ and to bring others closer to Him. A crowded church on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday can tempt us to pass judgement on those whom we might not see regularly here at Saint Helen.

Just as there are differences in faith and understanding among those who worship and attend Mass regularly – so too are the varied desires and motivations for those who come to Saint Helen for a time, or the significant celebrations of our Faith. Perhaps they want to relive a ritual of their childhood by attending Palm Sunday. Perhaps they are responding to an inner craving to be closer to the resurrected Christ on Easter. Perhaps they are just looking for something more in life and think they may find it here. Rather than focus on a crowded parking lot or pew, let us consider the very real possibility that it is God who is calling them and us to draw closer to Him.

How beautiful it is for us to consider that, among us, over the coming weeks, there will be a fair number of new or returning people who are searching for the “something more” that only God can give and, maybe even a place to call home. While our seats are already pulled up to the table…snug…comfortable, even with plenty of elbow room, let us ask ourselves if we can fit anyone else. Will we find room for someone new?

Let us show the hospitality that Mother Cabrini exemplified – radical to our own comfort – beginning with the hospitality in our own hearts which we extend to others by our welcoming words and actions. Can we conceive in our minds and hearts that something as simple as saying “hello” and “welcome,” making room in the pew, parking a little further away from the door, may help the occasional become regular…and find a home here at Saint Helen? Let us make room for everyone at the table of the Lord in our Eucharistic celebrations!

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