Welcoming Christ Among Us

Jacopo Tintoretto - The Visitation (detail) - WGA22432
Jacopo Tintoretto. The Visitation. (c.1549) Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna

The prophet Elisha rewarded the Shunamite woman’s hospitality by praying for the birth of the son she hoped for. Our Lord refers to those who welcome a prophet and promises reward to those who welcome the saints and disciples.

He also taught us that when we show charity to others, we are doing that for Him. A model for this can be found in the mystery of the Visitation of Our Lady to St Elizabeth. The hospitality that St Elizabeth showed was not only an act of charity to Our Lady but in very truth the welcoming of Christ into her home.

Even though he was only an embryo of a few days, Our Lord was recognised by St Elizabeth and by the child in her own womb, St John the Baptist. Both were rewarded by the grace of the Holy Spirit who worked in their lives and sanctified their souls. There were among the first to proclaim the coming of the Messiah.

We must learn to recognise Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and use the grace that we receive to minister to Him in others by our active works of charity.