Jews and Filipinos share an affinity when it comes to cultural practices on hospitality.  Jews have always been portrayed as accommodating and kind to their guests, even to total strangers. Abraham welcomed his guests, washed their feet, offered them rest and prepared for them great food (Gen. 18). 
Filipinos today go to great lengths to show guests their welcoming hearts. We are excited when they come over to visit us at home, specially if there is enough time to prepare.  Sometimes, though, our attention is fixed more heavily on the comfort of our visitors than on their presence.
I visited an elderly couple who, seeing me, started to prepare a meal together in the kitchen, leaving me with their little grandson in the living room.  The boy and I played computer games, of which I knew nothing about.  How relieved I was when the food was cooked, so that I could finally converse with the couple I really wanted to see.
The gospel speaks of Jesus’ visit to Mary and Martha’s home (Luke 10).  Both received him well. Both were excited he came.  It was not a question of one ignoring and one entertaining the Lord. Each in her own way, the sisters wanted Jesus to have a wonderful time in their home.
But Jesus here is referring to the “better part.” While both showed hospitality, notice that Martha was focused on the food she wanted Jesus to eat.  She was concerned about Jesus’ welfare and comfort. Martha welcomed Jesus into her kitchen.She decided on the things that would make Jesus happy.
For her part, Mary, realized that Jesus came not for the hunger, but for the friendship.  She therefore, offered what a friend could – her presence, her listening ear, her attention. She allowed Jesus the space and time to simply be at home with a friend.  For Jesus, this indeed was the better part. Mary welcomed Jesus into her heart.
We never lack people who approach us throughout the day. Yes, some of them come because they have specific needs. Some of them come because they need help.  But many times, people come just to experience friendship or companionship.  They come just to feel how we care for them as persons, as important persons in our lives.
How do we welcome people today?  I notice some people talking to their friends while busy sending or checking text messages on their phone.  At home, we discuss things with our family in front of the television.  We spend long hours “chatting” online than actually speaking face-to-face with people. And how we speak of the need for bonding! Bonding can only come when we focus on the person, not on their needs alone, and certainly not on our own distracting activities!
Let us allow Mary to teach us how to welcome Jesus and others into our heart.