Today's Scripture Reading
The Great Commandment
28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Jesus said love your neighbor.
Hospitality is not to change people,
but to offer them space where change can take place.
Jesus said love your enemies.
Hospitality is not to bring men and women over to our side,
but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.
Jesus touched the unclean; the lepers, the blind, the dead.
Hospitality wants to create a friendly emptiness
where strangers can enter and discover their own songs,
speak their own languages, dance their own dances;
free also to leave and follow their own vocations.
Jesus ate with the tax collectors and the prostitutes.
Hospitality is not a subtle invitation to adopt the life style of the host,
but a gift of the chance for the guests to find their own.
Jesus said love. Jesus said love.
Words in italics by Henri J. M. Nouwen, Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life, as quoted inSeeds of Hope: A Henri Nouwen Reader, 1997, 2nd edition.
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