John Predmore, S.J., is a Northeast Province Jesuit and was the pastor of Jordan's English language parish. He studies art and directs BC High's adult spiritual formation programs. Formerly a retreat director in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Ignatian Spirituality is given through guided meditations, weekend-, 8-day, and 30-day Retreats based on The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Ignatian Spirituality serves the contemporary world as people strive to develop a friendship with God.
Gospel, Jesus emphasizes the virtue of hospitality as an aspect of taking up
one’s cross. If we receive Jesus without conditions, we receive God. Whoever welcomes
the prophet, the righteous person, or a person in need will receive the just
reward. This is the purpose of Elisha’s story.
A woman of
influence and her husband provided hospitality to Elisha because they knew him
to be a holy man of God. In turn Elisha blessed their goodness, and he did this
by first asking them what they needed. The servant replied, “She has no son.”
Elisha conveyed God’s blessing to them that in a year’s time, she will bear a
asking people what they need so they can represent themselves honestly to us. The
one in need can articulate what is going on in his or her life, and once they
speak, we know how to respond. It takes away the guesswork and mystery of
trying to hit the mark. If we can provide, we will, but if we cannot, we can direct
them to resources to help them get what they need. It gives us the chance to
have a helpful exchange. Asking others what they need is a starter question
that can be used each day.
Because we are helpers
and ministers of the Gospel, we have to clarify our own needs each day when we
rise, “How can I get what I need today?” It focuses our day and sets our
activities in place. If we find we need others to help us, we simply ask for
caught in traps. We often respond to the person’s words rather than asking about
their needs, and that can get us into trouble. We are not good mind-readers,
even if we had success or things in the past turned out right. We try to read
into people’s words, we look for hints, we read body language, and we guess
what the person is thinking. We either guess or presume to know what they want
and, out of our generosity and care, we assist with good intentions, but the
problem is we may be way off the mark. Unless we ask people to state their
needs, we are prone to make big mistakes, which are preventable. When the
person clarifies, we are often surprised by the response, which shows us the complex
uniqueness of the person.
to a person’s response, dig for more information before you commit yourself
with an offer to help. For example, when a person asks, “Can you do me a favor?”,
never answer ‘yes,’ without first knowing what is being asked of you. Ask, “What
is the favor?” At that point, you can give a truthful answer about whether you
want to provide the request. If you can give a truthful answer, you are far
better off. You are stronger in controlling your choices. We often do things
for others that we really do not want to do, and then we resent our response.
We ask ourselves, “Why did I say yes? It sounded good at the time.” This is
real conversation that benefits both people.
that elicit what others need and want is a supreme act of hospitality because
we get to know something about the person we previously did not know. It opens
them up for vulnerability and acceptance. The Scriptures today ask us to
receive the requests of others without condition as a sign of our hospitality.
The true blessing is that when we are generous to others, we get it paid back
manifold times in ways and at times we do not expect. The blessings of God
enrich us because we are generously hospitable.
for Daily Mass
(Ephesians 2) You are strangers and sojourners no longer, but you are fellow
citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God.
(Genesis 19) When God destroyed the Cities of the Plain, God was mindful of
Abraham by sending Lot away from the upheaval by which God overthrew the cities
where Lot had been living.
(Genesis 21) At age 100, Abram’s wife bore a son called Isaac, but Sarah did
not want Hagar’s boy to get any inheritance so she made Abram send Hagar and
Ishmael away. God promise to make of him a great nation.
(Genesis 22) God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice Isaac, his only son.
As Abraham was willing to follow God’s commands, he was rewarded by allowing Isaac
to become the father of a great nation.
(Genesis 23) Sarah was buried at age 127, and as Abraham was nearing his death,
he needed to marry off Isaac. In the Negeb, Rebekah strode in on a camel and
asked about him. They married and fell in love. Isaac found solace after the
death of his mother.
(Genesis 27) Isaac was now getting old and needed to bless his son. Jacob
tricked him into receiving Esau’s blessing and inheritance.
(John 20) On Thomas’ feast day, we hear of his doubt when he was not with the
disciples in the upper room when Jesus first appeared to them after his
(Matthew 8) When Jesus got into a boat, a violent storm came up on the sea and
the boat was swamped by waves. “O, you of little faith. Why are you terrified?”
(Matthew 8) In Gerasa, two demoniacs came from the tombs to see Jesus, who sent
the demons out of the men and into the nearby swine causing them to jump over
the steep bank into sea where they drowned.
(Matthew 9) Jesus came across a paralytic lying on a stretcher, and he forgave
his sins. The scribes became angry at his blasphemy so he also healed his
(Matthew 9) Jesus found Matthew at his custom’s post. Many sinners sat with
Jesus as they eat and talked. After asking Matthew to be a disciple, the
Pharisees asked why he called sinners to himself.
(Matthew 9) John’s disciples asked why they fast and the disciples of Jesus do
not. The guests cannot fast when the bridegroom is present.
Saints of the Week
July 2: Bernard Realino, John
Francis Regis, Francis Jerome, S.J. are known for their preaching skills
that drew many to the faith, including many French Hugeunots. Regis and his
companions preached Catholic doctrine to children and assisted many struck by
the plague in Frances. Regis University in Denver, Colorado is named after John
July 3:Thomas, apostle,
is thought to have been an apostle to India and Pakistan and he is best
remembered as the one who “doubted” the resurrection of Jesus. The Gospels,
however, testify to his faithfulness to Jesus during his ministry. The name,
Thomas, stands for “twin,” but no mention is made of his twin’s identity.
July 5: Elizabeth of Portugal (1271-1336), was from the kingdom of Aragon
begore she married Denis, king of Portugal, at age 12. Her son twice rebelled
against the king and Elizabeth helped them reconcile. After he husband's death,
she gave up her rank and joined the Poor Clares for a life of simplicity.
July 5: Anthony Mary Zaccaria, priest (1502-1539) was a medical doctor who
founded the Barnabites because of his devotion to Paul and Barnabas and the
Angelics of St. Paul, a woman's cloistered order. He encouraged the laity to
work alongside the clergy to care for the poor.
July 6: Maria Goretti, martyr (1890-1902) was a poor farm worker who was
threatened by Alessandro, a 20-year old neighbor. When she rebuffed his further
advances, he killed her, but on her deathbed, she forgave him. He later
testified on her behalf during her beatification process, which occurred in
This Week in Jesuit History
·Jul 2, 1928. The Missouri Province was divided
into the Missouri Province and the Chicago Province. In 1955 there would be a
further subdivision: Missouri divided into Missouri and Wisconsin; Chicago
divided into Chicago and Detroit.
·Jul 3, 1580. Queen Elizabeth I issued a statute
forbidding all Jesuits to enter England.
·Jul 4, 1648. The martyrdom in Canada of Anthony
Daniel who was shot with arrows and thrown into flames by the Iroquois.
·Jul 5, 1592. The arrest of Fr. Robert Southwell
at Uxenden Manor, the house of Mr Bellamy. Tortured and then transferred to the
Tower, he remained there for two and a half years.
·Jul 6, 1758. The election to the papacy of
Clement XIII who would defend the Society against the Jansenists and the
Bourbon Courts of Europe.
·Jul 7, 1867. The beatification of the 205
Japanese Martyrs, 33 of them members of the Society of Jesus.
Jul 8, 1767. D'Aubeterre wrote to De Choiseul: "It is impossible to
obtain the Suppression from the Pope [Clement XIII]; it must be wrested from
him by occupying papal territory."