Who is My Neighbor?


An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

You know how the story goes. Your son or daughter swears that while you were gone he or she only invited 2 friends over to watch a movie and eat popcorn. How those other 25 people got there with beer is still a mystery! They were not invited but your young host felt pretty uncomfortable just kicking them out. You did teach them about good hospitality after all.

That sure is a twisted view of hospitality, perhaps, but it does make me reflect on those I am willing to welcome into my home and those I am not. Who is my neighbor? Would I extend hospitality to the person that is alone? I have done so for holidays. But I have known them well. Would I invite someone into my home that I did not know? It could be unsafe. But what if I found myself alone somewhere without any connections. Where would I turn? Who could I trust?

There are no simple answers here but I wonder if we should really have the luxury of not asking the question. If the Christian will not invite in the lost and forsaken, who will? In the coming days, I suggest we all reflect on those in our midst who seem to be alone. Who can we invite into our lives that need something much more important than a party? Who is out there that simply needs a friend? They may not need a physical shelter but they do need the warmth of Christian hospitality and the kindness of others.