Sunday Meditation

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 and is often used in circles where we are more prone to expect a watered-down piety than a serious search for an authentic Christian spirituality. But still, if there is any concept worth restoring to its original depth and evocative potential, it is the concept of hospitality. It is one of the richest biblical terms that can deepen and broaden our insight in our relationships to our fellow human beings…

Hospitality means primarily the creation of a free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place…

Just as we cannot force a plant to grow but can take away the weeds and stones which prevent its development; so we cannot force anyone to such a personal and intimate change of heart, but we can offer the space where such a change can take place.

~Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life, pg. 46-54.