Reflection by Amity Lantz, Director of Youth and Family Faith Formation
When I was a young my favorite part of the holidays was sitting at the top of my stairs in front of a big window that looked out into the driveway. There were only a few trees in my front yard so you could see the cars coming towards my house from about 4 houses down. I would sit with anticipation waiting to see a car I recognized as an Aunt, uncle, or cousins that would soon be turning into my driveway to celebrate with us. I would jump up, run to the front door and be there to welcome them before they could even get their car doors open. They would come inside, take off their coats and find a place to make themselves comfortable and I would return to my spot at the top of the stairs waiting for the next car to arrive.
The idea of welcoming someone without a hug, a handshake or even the certainty of a smile being seen under a mask, is challenging during this season when so many feel and are, alone, sad, and distant. In our relationship with God we are called to be welcoming in all times and in all ways. This season we are given the opportunity to show hospitality in new ways. Maybe it’s putting lights on our houses to brighten up the streets, donating toys and winter gear to families who could be struggling a little extra, or shoveling snow from a neighbor’s driveway.
Our world feels like it is shrinking in so many ways, when in fact God is showing us that being welcoming and showing hospitality go far beyond opening the front door to our house, but is instead making a place for everyone in our communities to feel as though they have somewhere to belong.
A Prayer for today: Oh Christ, you remind us that you are alive in the face of every stranger. Help us to find new ways to welcome those in our communities who are sad, alone, or disconnected and help us to face those feelings in ourselves, our friends and our families. Inspire in our hearts the courage to welcome them and we welcome You. Amen.