If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.” - St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Gospel text (Lk 9,46-50): One day the disciples were arguing about which of them was the most important. But Jesus knew their thoughts, so he took a little child and stood him by his side. Then He said to them, «Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes the one who sent me. And listen: the one who is found to be the least among you all, is the one who is the greatest».
Then John spoke up, «Master, we saw someone who drove out demons by calling upon your name, and we tried to forbid him because he doesn't follow you with us». But Jesus said, «Don't forbid him. He who is not against you is for you».
In the world, we don't welcome people because we don't welcome competition. We see other people as a threat. If they take their cut, there's less for us. We tend to be jealous, possessive, and contentious. We compare ourselves with others to see who is greatest (Lk 9:46).
In Jesus' kingdom, it should be the opposite. We welcome people with open arms. Other people are not "them"; they're "us." We're all members of the same body. "If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members share its joy" (1 Cor 12:26). We owe encouragement (Phil 2:1) and love (Rm 13:8) to one another. When we welcome our brothers and sisters in Christ, we welcome Christ and the Father (Lk 9:48). When we welcome one part of Christ's body, we must welcome all. "If then you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me" (Phlm 17).
At our death or at the end of the world, we will be welcomed as we welcome.