Scripture Reading: Genesis 18:2-15
Let us begin today’s reflection with the words c Benedict XVI (Pope Emeritus), “It is a fine thing the on such occasions the virtue of hospitality, which has almost disappeared and is one of man’s original virtue should be renewed and enable people of all states of life t meet.” Hospitality simply means ‘kindness to visitor: friendly, welcoming, and generous treatment offered to guests or strangers.’ The biblical lessons of hospitality began i Genesis, the stories of Abraham and others illustrated the was a guest should be treated. When three strangers approached hi tent, he ran out, greeted and prepared a lavish meal for then He later learned that they were God’s messengers sent t reveal that his formerly barren wife would bear a son. It was divine visitation! In Exodus 23:9, God says, “You shall not oppress a stranger …” In Leviticus, Christ’s golden rule I prefigured: “When a stranger sojourns with you in you land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you and you shall love him as yourself, for you were stranger in the land of Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:33-34). The repetition c the refrain “for you were strangers” reminded the Hebrews t be hospitable out of sympathy and charity. They were dependent on God’s assistance when they were in the desert now they must respond with generosity when others are I trouble.
The early Christians were encouraged to show hospitality t strangers. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to stranger: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:1-2) For us Christians, the stranger is also brother or a neighbor who represents Christ and who also ma be a messenger from God. Hospitality becomes a means t serve others and Christ in them. Christ lives this humble service by becoming a traveler himself, dependent on the hospitality of both Pharisees and tax collectors alike. He journeys from town to town preaching about true charity himself a stranger who must be welcomed: “The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). Jesus also ties hospitality into his description of who will inherit heaven: “Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me … Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of these my brethren, you did it to me.” (Matthew. 25:34-36, 40)
St. John Paul II said, “Welcoming Christ in our needy brothers and sisters is the condition of being able to meet him face to face and perfectly at the end of our earthly journey. ” Like the early Christians, we must also rely on and offer hospitality as a means of sharing the gospel. By creating a welcoming home, we make the Christian life attractive. No wonder St. John Paul concludes today reflection in this way: “Welcoming our brothers and sisters with care and willingness must not be limited to extraordinary occasions but must become for all believers a habit of service in their daily lives. Only those who have opened their hearts to Christ can offer a hospitality that is never formal or superficial but identified by “gentleness” and “reverence” (cf. 1 Peter 3:15).
1. Lord, I am very sorry for the time I rejected you when you came as someone in need.
2. Lord, help me to know that whenever I welcome neighbour that I have received divine visitation.
3. Lord, my hospitality will not bring curse to me in the name of Jesus.
4. My hospitality will bring divine blessings to my home in the name of Jesus.
Exercise: Share something valuable to you with someone today.
Memory Verse: Matthew 25:40