Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ, for He is going to say, "I came as a guest, and you received Me.” - The Rule of St. Benedict.
This past Tuesday was the Feast of St. Benedict, the day upon which the famous monastic of the 5th and 6th centuries is celebrated in the church calendar. In Benedict’s Rule, a guide for daily Christian life together for monks and nuns, he outlines a rhythm of life that includes “nothing harsh, nothing burdensome”, and guides a community together into communion with Christ, following on the way of the cross.
One of the practices Benedict taught was hospitality. In obedience to Christ’s teachings, in Matthew 25 and elsewhere, and on the conviction that Jesus is truly present in the guest and stranger Benedict guided others to a consistent and thoroughgoing ethic of welcoming strangers as guests. Within this call also was a specific emphasis upon hospitality toward the poor, as a subversion of the world’s normal pattern, and as a reflection of Christ’s presence with and for the poor.
One of the gifts of being part of the church is the connection to people like Benedict. These are ordinary people like you and I, sinners and yet saints, who sought to follow Jesus on the way of the cross. In the church today we are a part of a community that extends far beyond the confines of our immediate local church, and includes people like Benedict. We can look to these brothers and sisters for inspiration, as examples of faithfulness, looking to see how Christ was working in and through them, and heed their wisdom for our lives today. As we seek to proclaim the good news of what God has done and is doing through Jesus Christ may Benedict’s call to hospitality be one that we heed in the life of COTC, in our homes, and in our lives throughout Austin, that we might treat all whom we meet as we would Christ, to the glory of God!
Grace and peace,