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It’s About Hospitality

by Jul 29, 2022Friar Reflection

In this book Passion for Pilgrimage: Meditations on the Easter Mystery, Episcopal priest and dean emeritus of San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral Alan Jones reflects on the practice of Gospel-centered hospitality:

“Hospitality is a sign of the Resurrection, a sign of new life, a sign of the reordering of the universe around one great table.  We know from experience that, when patterns of hospitality break down, human beings suffer terrible cruelties.  Is it possible for us to imagine a community where everyone is welcome and where there is enough?

“Our longing for acceptance and approval is often accompanied by a desire to exclude others.  To be part of an ‘in’ group requires that there be a large number (the larger the better) of outsiders.  There is something very satisfying about exclusiveness.

“The indiscriminate welcoming of all people to the Supper of the Lamb is very threatening.  The notion that everybody is welcome radically reorders our world.  The question we posed earlier remains.  Do we fear resurrection more than crucifixion?  We choose death when we refuse to come to the banquet out of snobbery or fear.  The Resurrection calls us all to life, to the possibility of new personal attachments and to new communal responsibilities.  No wonder we resist it.  The love of God is indiscriminate and out of control.  No wonder many of us try to organize another banquet somewhere else.  There are many such banquets – focused on religion, ideology, or prejudice.  Not everyone is invited to these parties.  The guest list is carefully vetted, and there is a clear line drawn between those who are ‘in’ and those who are ‘out.’”

As Christians we are called to create banquets that are inclusive, that are places where all are welcome.

Christianity is about inclusiveness not exclusiveness.  Remember it was Jesus who in His ministry reached out to the sinners and tax collectors, to those others considered outcasts.