When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well, he spoke with her.
This was remarkable in itself, as men simply did not interact publicly with women – let alone enemy Samaritans – at the time.
But there was more: Jesus accepted her, an adulterer reviled by many, for who she was. And he offered himself.
“It’s a story of profound seeing and accepting,” Sister Mary Core, OSB says.
“It’s also about sharing oneself. Jesus responds with simple honesty and openness. He shares who he is, which leaves him vulnerable to criticism and ridicule.
“Real hospitality is hard work. It’s not just clean towels and bedding. It’s about relationship, in the deepest sense of the word.”
It’s about revealing our honest self, so that others feel safe to be themselves in our presence.
Sister Charlotte Sonneville, OSB says another parable shares the archetypal example of radical hospitality practiced irrespective of personal or cultural differences.
“The Good Samaritan cares for a stranger – an enemy, the other – wholeheartedly,” she says.
“This is what we are called to do. To offer loving presence and assistance to everyone, no matter who they are.
Which is what Sister Margaret Murphy, OSB received one wintry evening in Peoria.