LIVING AS APPRENTICES
“A life of hospitality begins in worship, with a recognition of God’s grace and generosity. Hospitality is not first a duty and responsibility; it is first a response of love and gratitude for God’s love and welcome to us. Although it involves responsibility and faithful perform- ance of duties, hospitality emerges from a grateful heart. This is especially important because when hospitality is not shaped by gratitude, it is often offered grudgingly. Grudging hospitality exhausts hosts and wounds guests even as it serves them.
Our hospitality both reflects and participates in God’s hospitality. It depends on a disposition of love because, fundamentally, hospitality is simply love in action. It has much more to do with the resources of a generous heart than with sufficiency of food or space. . . .
We make a habit of hospitality when we remember how much Jesus is present in the practice. Our responses are shaped by the knowledge that Christ comes to us in the ‘stranger’s guise.’ While we see Christ in strangers and guests, hospitality also allows us to at as Jesus to those guests. Esther de Waal, in her work on Benedictine spirituality, suggests that at the end of all our hospitable activity we are faced with two questions, ‘Did we see Christ in them? Did they see Christ in us?'”
From Making Room, Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition (pp. 172-173).