Practice Radical Hospitality
Richard James, Council of Twelve Apostles
Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. -Matthew 10:40
I am fortunate and blessed to be able to travel to many nations and to receive incredible hospitality from many people. This kind of hospitality is not just a hallmark of our Christian discipleship, but it is a way of life. It extends beyond receiving people that we know and welcoming the stranger, the other, and someone who is different from us. So what can radical hospitality look like?
In Madrid, Spain, there is a restaurant called Restaurante Robin Hood. It is one of Spain’s most sought-after places to eat; it is always full of diners whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This restaurant was started by \xc3\x81ngel Garc\xc3\xada Rodriguez, who is a Catholic priest and affectionately known as “Padre \xc3\x81ngel.” The restaurant is run by a charity called Mensajeros de la Paz, which means “messengers of peace.”
The restaurant is open to paying guests during the day, offering high-quality breakfasts and lunches (“menu del dia” and “a la carte”), and in the evening it is reserved for the homeless who are invited to the have the same high-quality meals free of charge. Celebrity chefs or chefs who have worked in luxury hotels are eager to give of their service. Padre \xc3\x81ngel says that “he wants homeless people to eat with the same dignity as any other customer with the same quality, with glasses made of crystal, not plastic, and in an atmosphere of friendship and conversation.” (https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/01/24/511267616/spains-robin-hood-restaurant-charges-the-rich-and-feeds-the-poor)
I am amazed at this wonderful example of radical hospitality. It is one that gives value to every person who eats at the restaurant and treats each person with dignity and grace.
With whom is God inviting you to share your table?
God bless the spaces between us.
Tears of Compassion
Offer a silent prayer for the gift of God’s compassion. Cup your hands and ask God to make you aware of the suffering that causes the Earth and its inhabitants to groan and weep. Be open to faces or places, sounds or voices, feelings of connection with those who suffer. Imagine catching the tears of those you see and holding them in your hands. Listen for prayer images or words God may give you. Discern any active responses of ministry or healing you sense invited to complete for those who weep.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.