Airbnb has renewed my faith in the kindness of strangers. Through this service, where ordinary folks open their homes to travelers, I have received some of the most gracious welcomes far from home. One exemplary host greeted me with a bottle of wine, introduced me to her children, and invited me to pick tomatoes and herbs from her garden for my meals.
Hospitality in our home, the domestic church, is connected to hospitality in our parish. The practice of liturgical hospitality, in fact, begins in our homes. In preparation for the Rite of Acceptance that formally begins the initiation process, all the faithful of a parish are called to welcome seekers “into their homes, into personal conversation, and into community gatherings” (RCIA 9.1).Hospitality in our home, the domestic church, is connected to hospitality in our parish. The practice of liturgical hospitality, in fact, begins in our homes. Click To Tweet
However, showing hospitality isn’t just meant to get you 5-star ratings or more catechumens. The final parable of Matthew’s Gospel will find us at the Father’s house where Jesus says to those on his right, “Come …For I was a stranger, and you welcomed me” (Mt 25:34–35). To welcome guests, especially the poor and the stranger, is to welcome Christ (Rule of Benedict, chapter 53).
Let the hospitality we practice in our homes and churches extend to every place Christians encounter the stranger and those in need—our street corners, our workplaces, our borders. For there we will receive Christ.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Photo by Chris Ross Harris on Unsplash.