Many of you may have witnessed quite a setup on Wednesday evenings after you come out of daily Mass. We have the linens out, pitchers of cool refreshments, a team busily working to set out quite a spread of food, and usually me struggling to get technology perfect. If you were to stay for the Alpha session you would witness even more hospitality. This program has introduced many to the loving and welcoming embrace of Jesus Christ through open discussion and dialogue. We have had Catholics, non-Catholics, searchers and seekers of all different walks of life. Particularly, we have served guests that others, like in the Second Reading this week, may have shut out. This is radical hospitality, and there is a case to be made for why Cathedral should be the epicenter of radical hospitality.
At many parishes, Alpha consists primarily of a crowd of parishioners. What has been surprising at Cathedral is that while we do serve many parishioners, some of the most engaged participants have been those whom we have never met before. I won’t say names, but at least two tables I have led have provided me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and to witness exactly what the Second Reading is calling us to do this week. James 2: 1-5 is short and to the point. How are we to consider ourselves intentional disciples if we only surround ourselves with what is comfortable or known? How many times did Jesus perform miracles to outsiders, lay hands on the “unclean,” or provide ministry to the outcasts? The answer: All. The. Time. This is radical hospitality, not the typical donuts after Mass or the fancy entryway and kiosk. While both are nice, neither are radical.
Cathedral is just the place to be radical. We share Communion each week with about 50% guests in our pews. We serve the community at large as they ring the doorbell at the church offices looking for help. We answer calls of searchers and seekers who don’t know how they got here, but who know something is calling them to Jesus. We are a hotspot for radical hospitality. Where do we begin? Well, start today in the pews. Notice anyone unfamiliar around you? Reach out a hand and say “Hello,” or send over a friendly smile. Ultimately, radical hospitality starts with each of us—so why not start now?
Katie Price is the Coordinator for Stewardship at the Cathedral. She can be contacted by calling the Parish Offices or emailing her directly at [email protected].