15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B - 12/7/2015 - Gospel: Mk 6:7-13
When talk about hospitality we think about the materials that are given and don't think about the non- material values which are most needed in a modern society.  Hospitality can take various forms and is broader than many of us often think about. Non- material hospitality includes time, words, feelings and of course prayers. Some forms of charity are easy to give while others are even hard when we make a request.

Most of us have no trouble to ask someone to prayer for us when we are sick or in trouble. Such a request is well accepted at both individual level and at communal prayers. Praying is a clear sign of generosity towards God and also enriching our spiritual journey.

It is harder when we ask someone to be charitable in their language towards their opponents. Some people would think about it while others may brush it aside saying they deserved it. To be generous in language is the richness that is deep rooted in Christian virtues. 

There is an outcry from family members asking each other to have more time for one another. A little child, after a long sigh lamented that 'no one played with me'. There were people around her at that time and yet the child felt lonely since others were busy with their own things, leaving the child to play alone with a tablet. Loneliness is a sign of lack of love and affection. We need to be more generous in freely giving and as well accepting of these things.

 Blaming other person is a way of getting out of trouble and it helps us to cope with life crisis. Instead of responsible for our own mistake we blame others. We need to look after ourselves and at the same time we need to be generous towards others' well being. Accepting mistakes is a way to grow to be a responsible person. Jesus foretold his Apostles that there would always be some who made them feel welcome. When being opposed just leave the place behind and search for another place.

Hospitality and holiness must go hand in hand because the reward for hospitality without holiness is popularity while holiness and lack of hospitality is an empty promise, a sweet talk. Hospitality involves sacrifice and humility to walk side by side to those whom you serve.

Jesus instructed his apostles to go and carried nothing extra, even a spare tunic. This would bring them a peace of mind because when they were in the mission fields they would be free from material possessions and have more time for the mission. The instruction seemed to suggest that the Apostles shared God's peace and enjoyed whatever people have to offer. Being poor in materials means they are rich in the message of God's love and that would be more than enough for the journey. They may be poor in material possessions but rich in God's love and the companions and the people of God that strengthened them.