Hospitality Saves Life
Hospitality Saves Life
Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels. (Hebrew 13:1-2)
Welcoming and hospitality are so important when/wherever people gather together. Have you ever felt welcome in someone's home? What did he do to make you feel that way? Hospitality traditionally refers to opening one's home and its comforts to others. St. Paul, in his letter to the Roman, instructs us to “welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you” (Rom 15:7). The following short story seems to say it all about brotherly love and hospitality.
Once upon a time, there lived two pigeons. They were husband and wife. They spend their day looking for food. In the evening they would come and rest on their favorite tree in the forest.
One evening, the wife returned home early. A usual she was waiting for her husband, when suddenly it started raining. She started to worry. “Where are you, my dear? You never get so late," she whispered to herself.
Just then she saw a bird-catcher coming towards her. In a cage he had a pigeon. It was her husband. “OH no, what shall I do now" I wish I can help my husband," she said. She desperately tried to distract the bird-catcher by flapping her wings, but all in vain.
Soon, it stopped raining. “Bird! It is so cold," said the bird-catcher. His clothes were wet. He decided to sit under the same tree where the two pigeons lived.
The poor wife sat by her husband’s cage. And she started to cry. The husband said. “Do not feel sad, dear. We now have a guest. This man is shivering and hungry. He needs your help." Hearing this, the wife flew around getting dry twigs. She made a fire for the bird-catcher. Then she looked at the bird-catcher and said, “You are our guest, since I have no food to offer, I will jump into this fire. In few minutes I will become an edible item for you. You can eat me."
By now, the bird-catcher was overwhelmed by the hospitality of the humble pigeon couple. He at once stopped the wife jumping into the fire.
He opened the cage and set the husband free. “I have been cruel and selfish. I will never trap any bird in my net again," said the bird-catcher and went away. The two pigeons were happy to be reunited.
True hospitality means much more than just entertaining guest with warmth, a smile, and good foods. The bottom line of hospitality is when: “The king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by 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, a stranger and you welcomed me,’” (Mt 25:34-35).
What does it mean to be hospitable to you?
Do you judge your guest by their status, by what they have, by what they wear?
How do I live out true hospitality today?
Lord Jesus, how many times did you urge your followers to welcome the stranger? I sometimes balk at this. It's hard to be welcoming when I am tired, fearful, or anxious about my time and resources. Bless me with an open and welcoming heart. Let me see others as I would see you. Let others see in me the warmth and grace of your love. Enfold me in your gracious Spirit and make hospitality a mark of my life. Amen. (Prayer for Hospitality)
O Blessed Mother Mary, you are generous in hospitality by your "yes" to God, help us to be hospitable like You. Hail Mary full of grace...
Peace in Christ,
Father Vincent-Vuong Nguyen
Fr. Vincent Nguyen
on Friday, February 8 at 6:49AM