Simple hospitality

Faith Focus for the Week

How do I show hospitality in my daily life? What do I discover about God in treating others in these ways?

We all yearn to be welcomed and belong. Our Christian faith calls us to stretch and grow beyond our comfort zone or, as Pope Francis is so fond of saying, “go out of ourselves.”

Hospitality is a hallmark of discipleship. Jesus considered it so important that he made hospitality a measure by which we will be judged: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me” (Mt 25:35). So, why is hospitality so important for Christians? What does welcoming entail?

Hospitality is grounded in our conviction that all human beings, regardless of status, state of life, or cultural background, have worth and dignity. This conviction manifests itself in respecting and accepting not just those who are similar to us but also those, especially those, who are unfamiliar or seem strange or foreign. Hospitality and welcoming demands a level of openness that some might find scary. Let the Letter to the Hebrews remind us, “Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels” (13:2).

The next time you go to Mass consider how you might help create a sense of welcome and belonging. Here are a few simple ideas:

• Our Sunday liturgy starts as the Holy Spirit gathers us from the parking lot and the sidewalks into the church. Smile or greet each person you pass with a “hello” or “good morning.”

• Sit toward the center of a pew to leave room for others who might arrive later.

• Pay attention to those sitting around you and offer help in finding hymns or prayers if someone seems to be struggling to follow along.

• Thank visitors or families with young children for being part of the praying community that day.

 

This article comes to you from Our Sunday Visitor courtesy of your parish or diocese.

 

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