POETRY: Making The House Ready For The Lord, by Mary Oliver

April 22, 2017

Dear Lord, I have swept and I have washed but still nothing is as shining as it should be for you. Under the sink, for example, is an uproar of mice—it is the season of their many children. What shall I do? And under the eaves and through the walls the squirrels have gnawed their ragged entrances—but it is the season when they need shelter, so what shall I do? And the raccoon limps into the kitchen and opens the cupboard while the dog snores, the cat hugs the pillow; what shall I do? Beautiful is the new snow falling in the yard and the fox who is staring boldly up the path, to the door. And still I believe you will come, Lord: you will, when I speak to the fox, the sparrow, the lost dog, the shivering sea-goose, know that really I am [...]

HOSPITALITY: Bread And Mission by Wolfgang Vondey

May 9, 2015

From People of Bread The multiplication of bread illustrates the central mission of the disciples of Jesus in the world.  The distribution of bread embodies the emphasis of the Old Testament on providing companionship and hospitality to the stranger, the outcast the poor, and the hungry.  Jesus personified this task in his own life and teaching.  In the Gospels we find Jesus consistently “eating with sinners and tax collectors,” (Mark 2:16).  The sharing of companionship with sinners and the offer of hospitality to the poor and outcasts of society was a hallmark of his life.  In fact, his ministry might be summed up in the phrase, “welcoming sinner and eating with them,” (Luke 15:1 and 2).  In Luke’s [...]

SERMON: God’s Hospitality To The World by C. S. Song

December 28, 2014

I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.  And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.  The nations will walk by its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.  The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the Earth will bring their glory into it.  Its gate will never be shut by day – and there will be no night there.  People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.  (Revelation 21:22-26) We are gathered here this morning to celebrate the Eucharist.  The celebration of the Eucharist is always a special event in the life of the Christian church.  But our eucharistic celebration today is [...]

POETRY: A Minor Bird by Robert Frost

December 24, 2014

I have wished a bird would fly away, And not sing by my house all day; Have clapped my hands at him from the door When it seemed as if I could bear no more. The fault must partly have been in me. The bird was not to blame for his key. And of course there must be something wrong In wanting to silence any [...]

HOSPITALITY: The Guest As Christ by Dennis Okholm

December 23, 2014

From Monk Habits for Everyday People When Benedict gets around to discussing different ways in which the monastery and the world meet, one of the important topics with which he deals is the reception of guests.  He immediately states the overarching principle: “All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” This welcome goes beyond the simple handshake.  The monks are to meet the guest “with all the courtesy of love,” marked by prayer, the kiss of peace, and the humble adoration of a bow, so that “Christ is adored because he is indeed welcomed in them.”  Now, I have never been received quite so elaborately, but I have [...]

HOME: Hospitality And Service by Pope Francis

December 22, 2014

(Address to the Missionaries of the Homeless Shelter Dono di Maria, 21 May 2013) When we say “home,” we mean a place of hospitality, a dwelling, a pleasant human environment where one stays readily, finds oneself, feels inserted into a territory, a community.  Yet more profoundly, home is a word with a typically familiar flavor, which recalls warmth, affection, and the love that can be felt in a family.  Hence the home represents the most precious human treasures: encounter, relations among people who are different in age, culture, and history, but who live together and help one another to grow.  For this reason, the home is a crucial place in life, where life grows and can be fulfilled, because it is a place in which [...]

LENT: Monday of the First Week in Lent, by Henri J. M. Nouwen

February 18, 2013

From Show Me The Way Then the king will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since 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 made me welcome. . . .   In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.” (Matthew 23:34-35, 40) At first the word, “hospitality” might evoke the image of soft sweet kindness, tea parties, bland conversations, and a general atmosphere of coziness.  Probably this has its good reasons since in our culture the concept of hospitality has lost much of its power [...]

ADVENT MEDITATION: Room For Christ by Dorothy Day

December 19, 2012

It is no use saying that we are born two thousand years too late to give room to Christ.  Nor will those who live at the end of the world have been born too late.  Christ is always with us, always asking for room in our hearts. But now it is with the voice of our contemporaries that he speaks, with the eyes of store clerks, factory workers, and children that he gazes; with the hands of office workers, slum dwellers, and suburban housewives that he gives.  It is with the feet of soldiers and tramps that he walks, and with the heart of anyone in need that he longs for shelter.  And giving shelter or food to anyone who asks for it, or needs it, is giving to Christ. We can do now what those who knew him in the days of his flesh did.  I am [...]