Recently I went to a Catholic Camp and the missionaries who greeted me said “welcome home.” It’s a simple phrase that at the time I didn’t think much about, but after further reflection, I began pondering what kind of environment do I welcome people to my house, to my family, to my circle of friends, in my office, or even in my youth group.
Think about it. Are you hospitable? More than that, do you welcome people with radical hospitality? The word “welcome” means a “greeting given due to joy upon someone’s arrival.” If that is the case, there are some people I do not welcome. And, even when I do try to welcome people, oftentimes I am distracted by texting, by another conversation I had earlier in the day, social media, etc. So really, my welcome cannot be a welcome at all.
Today’s Gospel shows us the beauty of Jesus’ ministry of welcoming and radical hospitality. An unwanted guest comes to the party. She is called a woman of the city, “who was a sinner.” This woman heard the teachings of Jesus and she had a deep longing to see Christ. She was broken, wounded, and empty, yet a desire to find Christ. When she connected with Jesus, she was overcome with emotion and begins to cry and uses her hair to dry Jesus’ feet. Jesus accepts her as she is. In contrast, Simon welcomed Jesus into his home but not his heart.
What is the connection? Do you allow people into your physical space, but not your heart? I would encourage you today, wherever you are – street corner of sin or front pew of the Church, follow this broken woman to the feet of Jesus!