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Friendship at the heart of hospitality

By Fr Don Chambers

In last Sunday’s article, I reflected on Jesus’ Ministry of hospitality. The Incarnation reveals the intrinsic hospitality of God who receives the hospitable nature of the humanity. Hence, in His words and actions, Jesus taught His disciples that human nature has the ability to be hospitable, that is, to be welcoming. Today, I reflect on the mission of hospitality to which the Church is called to exercise.

I utilise the friendship between Ruth and Naomi, her mother-in-law, to demonstrate the hospitable mission of the Church. When Naomi decides to return to her homeland having lived in a foreign or pagan land and the death of her husband, Naomi invited Ruth, a pagan, to remain. However, Ruth responds saying, “Wherever you go, I will go. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16). Interestingly, the meaning of the name Ruth is friendship, loyalty.

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