Sunday, November 20, 2011

Welcome All As Christ

And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’  Matthew 25:40
When I read or hear this gospel, I often think of this quote from the Rule of St. Benedict: "All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35).”
And he doesn’t just mean that we are to be hospitable. He means we are to accept each person as they are. We are to treat each person with love and humility.
We are to treat each person as God treats us.
Each person, not just Christians.
Each person, not just the orphaned or the poor.
Each person, including ourselves.
We are all to be welcomed as Christ.
There is an old rabbinic story about angels that walk in front of human beings, calling out “Make way for the image of God! Make way for the image of God!”
Do we see each other in that way? Do we see ourselves in that way?
What would change if we did?
What would change in this world if we really saw – in each other - the presence of Christ?
Dear Lord, I wish to see You in all people. I want to remember that I am made in your image and I belong to You, but I get wrapped up in the world. Help me, Lord, to see you in everyone I meet. Help me to love like you love. Amen.
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13 comments :

Michael said...

Great perspective. I never really thought about "me" being one of "them". Thanks and God Bless!

Colleen said...

Michael, I didn't either until this week. Then I thought of the quote from Benedict and how welcomed I had been when I went to a monastery for many weeks and my thoughts took off from there! God bless!

Tricia said...

Hi Colleen, I would love if you would link up your scripture reflection to my "Home of the Hmm...ily" blog linkup. I post a linkup for every Sunday, beginning the Monday before. I don't have any participation yet, besides myself. I'm really hoping to get the word out and encourage more bloggers to linkup. When I read your post here I thought "perfect!" I hope you don't mind my solicitation.

Colleen said...

Tricia, thank you for visiting my blog and for your invitation. I linked up already! God bless!

Jean Wise said...

This rule of Benedict always resonates in my heart with a conviction I don't do this as much as I am called to. And loved the story you shared too.

I really appreciate you correlated this weeks scripture with Benedict saying Great thoughts.

Colleen @ ID said...

"We are to treat each person as God treats us.
Each person, not just Christians.
Each person, not just the orphaned or the poor.
Each person, including ourselves.
We are all to be welcomed as Christ."

Very helpful to remember this. Thank you Colleen

Colleen said...

Jean, I feel the same as you, that I do not do as much as I am called to. Thank you for your kind comments!

Colleen, I am glad you find that list helpful. So do I! Thanks!

Victor S E Moubarak said...

"What would change in this world if we really saw – in each other - the presence of Christ?"

If only ...

God bless.

Colleen said...

Victor, "if only"... wouldn't that be awesome?
God bless.

Kathleen Basi said...

This has such major implications for all of us in the polarized, "us" vs. "them" society we live in today. This is very uncomfortable; it negates the whole red/blue mentality that rules our societal interactions. It means accepting all kinds of ppl we think are involved in inherently sinful activity--and that's tough to do because we also feel called to speak out against sin. I wrestle with this all the time, and the more I wrestle, the more I come to the conclusion that we have to moderate rhetoric, speak with reason and quiet instead of loud invectives and strong language, and accept God as judge, rather than ourselves. It's a hard thing.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

Every day I read a meditation from the Rule of St. Benedict and am in awe of his wisdom. It shows that his message is always fresh and practical even after 1500 or more years.

On Kathleen's comment, I am reminded that St. Francis de Sales said we must always speak the truth with charity. It becomes more difficult when we are the ones being attacked, but we must do it anyway. A lamp with a dirty shade doesn't give the best light, and we are supposed to be the light of the world and attract others to us as Jesus attracted so many sinners to Himself.

We would convert many more people to Christianity if we were kind like Blessed Mother Teresa who didn't care what religion the sick and dying practiced. To her, all were Christ.

Colleen said...

Kathleen, I agree. It is a hard thing. Can't be done without God's grace. Thanks so much for your comment.

Colleen said...

Barb, I appreciate your comment. So well said. And I couldn't agree more. I was thinking the same thing, how Jesus attracted so many sinners and how he dined with them and loved them.
And Mother Teresa. She really did live the gospel message and gave us such an example to follow, as hard as it may be.
I like your analogy of the lamp with the dirty shade.
Thank you so much. God bless.