Before the recitation of the Marian prayer the Holy Father spoke of the importance of hospitality calling it a real Christian virtue, but one which at times the world neglects.
He drew his inspiration for this theme from the Sunday Gospel in which St Luke recounts the story of Jesus who is welcomed into the home of two sisters Martha and Mary. They both offer their hospitality in different ways. Martha is busy preparing things while Mary stays to listen to Jesus’ words. When Martha protests that she has to do everything, Jesus reminds her that in order to welcome him many things are not necessary; indeed, only one thing is necessary, said Pope Francis, to listen to Jesus, “show him a fraternal attitude, so he feels what it is like to be part of the family, and not in a temporary shelter. “
Putting the Gospel reading in the context of life today, Pope Francis gave an example. He said that there are many people in nursing homes and hospices, but it is not always the place where real hospitality is practiced. “Several institutions that cater to many forms of illness, loneliness, and marginalisation are created, but the chance for those who are foreigners, marginalised, or excluded to find someone willing to listen decreases.”
He also noted that people are so taken up with the pace of life, with big and small problems that we do not take the time to listen to one another . So at the conclusion of his address the Pope invited people to dedicate more time to listening because he said, the root of peace is in the capacity to listen.