Catholic World News

Pope Francis: listening is at heart of hospitality

July 18, 2016

St. Luke’s account of Jesus in the home of Mary and Martha (Lk. 10:38-42) emphasizes the importance of listening, Pope Francis said in his July 17 Sunday Angelus address.

“In busying herself and doing things, Martha runs the risk of forgetting-- and this is the problem-- the presence of her guest, which in this case is Jesus,” the Pope told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

“A guest doesn’t need to be merely served, fed, and cared for in every way,” he continued. “Above all it is necessary that he is listened to-- recall well this word-- to listen. That the guest might be welcomed as a person, with his history, his heart rich in sentiments and thoughts, so that he might feel truly that he is among family.”

The Pope added:

Certainly, the answer Jesus gives Martha-- when he tells her that only one thing is necessary-- finds its full meaning in reference to hearing the word of Jesus himself, this word that enlightens and sustains all that we are and all that we do. If we are going to pray, for example, before a crucifix, and we talk and talk and talk and then we leave, we don’t listen to Jesus. We don’t allow him to speak to our hearts.

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