It is the kind of story that everyone loves to hear: An ordinary person treats a stranger kindly and the stranger turns out to be a famous person. A waitress receives a $1,000 tip from an ordinary customer, an Uber driver helps a stranger whose car is broken down and the stranger turns out to be a sports star.
In today’s 1st reading, Abraham plays the role of the humble host, accommodating three strangers during a hot afternoon in the desert. He and Sara go over and above in serving them freshly baked rolls, a choice steer, curds and milk. Much more than they would be expected to do. At the end of the story the strangers reveal themselves to be much more than three wondering travelers. It is the Lord, coming to Abraham in the form of a humble guest .
Jesus comes to Martha and Mary as a guest, though they know who he is from the start. Last week we heard the story of the good Samaritan, prefaced by the scribe who answered that love of God and love of neighbor are the keys to inheriting eternal life. In Martha and Mary, we see both of these commandments followed. Martha shows love of neighbor in the way that she serves their guest. Mary shows love of God in the way that she sat with Jesus and listened to every word he spoke.
Do we act differently around strangers who look important and ones who don’t? Do we treat others with kindness, whether we are listening or serving?
-Love, Peace, Joy