Maintaining a welcoming stance is sometimes a little challenging. We don’t always feel like it!
Nevertheless, we are called to hospitality for good reason.
By greeting all as Christ, we keep our own hearts soft. We invite others to respond with openness and gentleness. And we extend God’s own welcome into the world.
Sister Stefanie MacDonald offers this 3-part method for practicing hospitality with everyone.
1. Hospitality to strangers is often easier to manage than hospitality to family. For one thing, they probably haven’t let us down yet. And we aren’t irritated by the way they leave their socks in the hallway!
Whether we interact with a store clerk or someone on the telephone, it helps to plan ahead to be attentive and kind.
Know that they have the same hopes, fears and sorrows that we do … and that we have the power to turn their day (and ours) around!
2. Hospitality to those we interact with daily can be more challenging. Family, officemates and friends come with tics that can drive us crazy. We sometimes want to shout at the person forever clanking a spoon against the coffee cup, Stop it! I can’t stand being around you!
It helps to remember we ourselves come with tics, and hope others overlook them. Focus on the whole person.
Welcome the Christ who stands in front of you, inviting you to become who you are called to be.
3. Hospitality to self is often the most difficult task. It’s hard to accept ourselves fully when we are so familiar with our own faults. And it’s hard to allow ourselves the leisure we need to recharge our batteries.
It helps to see ourselves as God sees us: beloved and cherished children who are worth everything.
We deserve kindness … and others benefit from the happiness we experience when we are well cared for!