Who do we pay attention to? To whom is our focus offered? It is those from whom we hope to receive some gain or benefit? Didn’t St. Paul quote Jesus as saying, “…it is more blessed to give than to receive?” So, although we are giving our attention we are actually fishing for something for ourselves. There really is no cost. This would be a form of caring that isn’t real caring.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. (Luke 6.32-34)
The Lord said: “Whoever welcomes this little child on my account welcomes me.” (Luke 9:48) The smaller our brother is, the more Christ is present. For when we welcome a great personality, we often do so out of vainglory; but the person who welcomes someone unimportant, does so with a pure intention and for Christ. He said: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” And again: “As often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me.” (Matthew 25:35.40) Since he is talking about a believer and a brother, no matter how unimportant he is, Christ comes in with him. Open your house and welcome him.
“He who welcomes a prophet because he bears the name of prophet receives a prophet’s reward.” Thus, the person who welcomes Christ will receive the reward of Christ’s hospitality. Do not doubt his words, trust them. He himself told us: “In them, I am presenting myself.” And so that you do not doubt them, he decreed the punishment for those who do not welcome him and the honors for those who do welcome him (Matthew 25:31ff.). He would not do this if he were not personally touched by honor or scorn. He says: “You welcomed me into your house; I will welcome you in the Kingdom of my Father. You freed me from hunger; I will free you from your sins. You saw me in chains; I will let you see your liberation. You saw me a stranger; I will make of you a citizen of heaven. You gave me bread; I will give you the Kingdom as your inheritance that is entirely yours. You helped me in secret; I will proclaim it publicly and I will say that you are my benefactor and that I am in your debt.”
Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407), Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, no. 45