2Kings 4:8-11, 14-16 Rom 6:3-4, 8-11 Matt 10:37-42
Today’s readings were tied together with a call to hospitality, welcoming the stranger and making him comfortable. At the times when the Old and New Testaments were written, hospitality was more than mere friendliness. It was a custom which ensured the survival of anyone who traveled, a social contract which gave the migrant, the adventurer, and the pilgrim food and safety while in the camp of another.
If this was commonplace among faithful Jews, then why the emphasis on it in today’s readings? Perhaps it is because we are being called to more than simply cooking a meal and making strangers comfy. We are being asked to do something so much greater than this.
What we are being called to is to see the image of God in the men around us. We are to seek Him in them, and then serve that reflection of Him while it is in front of us. The hospitality we are enjoined to offer is a worship of the One True God, to serve Him wherever He is found. Whether that is in a holy man seeking a place of rest, the tiny child asking for a drink of water, or the family members who live within our homes.
We are to love God above all things, which means loving the people He has placed in front of us because they too are created in His beloved image.