Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, 2nd July 2023

‘Follow in my footsteps’

The readings this week focus on hospitality and welcome, as well as the rewards we receive when we welcome others ourselves.

In the First Reading, Elisha, a ‘holy man of God’, is regularly offered bed and board. As a result he decides to reward his hosts with a much longed-for son and heir.

The Psalm is a song of praise to the Lord’s love and mercy.

St Paul stresses to the Romans that in Baptism, we die to our old selves, and are reborn to a new life with Christ. (Second Reading)

In the Gospel, Jesus continues to instruct his disciples. Following him will not always be easy, but it will have its own rewards or blessings. Whether one welcomes a prophet, a holy person or the smallest ‘little one’, a good deed, even the simplest cup of water, will not go unnoticed. In welcoming others, we welcome Jesus himself.

This week we might want to reflect on the way each one of us, and society at large, welcomes those who must leave their own land for a variety of reasons.

Perhaps we can ask for the grace of realising that ‘whatsoever we do to the least of our brothers and sisters, that we do unto him’ (words adapted from the hymn by Willard F. Jabusch).