"Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” With these words Jesus shows us his serious desire that we would represent Him to others in all things. We are to be Christ to others, and we are to treat others with the respect and dignity we would give to Christ Himself.
St. Catherine of Sienna is a great example of loving others as Christ. In her youth, Catherine desired to live a celibate religious life. Her family, typical of that era, wished to arrange a marriage for her at the earliest opportunity. They were quite cruel to her at times, as they tried to convince her to accept one of her many suitors. Catherine responded to their mistreatments and demands by imagining them as the members of the Holy Family. She would respond to her father as if it was St. Joseph asking her to do a chore. She would respond in love to her mother as if it was the Blessed Mother asking for a favor. She would treat her siblings with great reverence and humility, as if deferring to Christ Himself.
St. Catherine’s “holy transferal” of respect and obedience eventually won her father over to acceptance of her Vocation. Her virtues not only imitated Christ, but made Christ present in her home. Let us take her example of humility and love this week as we interact with our family and friends. May we win over our opponents by receiving them and honoring Jesus in them.