Today’s gospel in Luke follows right after the the parable of the Good Samaritan; and, like it, is found only in Luke. Both events are set in Jesus’ Jerusalem, where his suffering, death, and resurrection will take place. It is important for us, as followers of Jesus, to recognize this context and say “yes” to all it means for our own journey with him.

Jesus enters the home of Martha and her sister Mary. John’s gospel tells us that Lazarus is their brother, that they live in Bethany, and are dear friends of Jesus. Martha is busy preparing a meal while Mary sits at Jesus’ feet, listening to him. Martha asks Jesus to get Mary to help her; Jesus replies that Mary has chosen the better part.

For Luke, Jesus is the “hospitality of God.” Jesus shows this time and time again by seeking out folks on the margins and eating with them, spending time with them, and listening with them. What does this mean for us? What does it mean for the followers of Jesus? How are we the “hospitality of God” like Jesus? By listening, kindness, seeking those folks on the edge (near at hand within our families, communities, neighborhoods), or perhaps with folks of different languages, cultures, races, and faiths. Hospitality is not easy but it is what we are called to!

—Fr. Jim Dixon, S.J. serves as chaplain to the Ignatian Volunteer Corps and is Superior of the Woodlawn Jesuit Residence, Chicago IL.