Hebrews 13:2

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office

Psalm 80 (Morning)
Psalm 77, [79] (Evening)
Gen. 25:19-34
Heb. 13:1-16
John 7:37-52

Hebrews 13:2

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

What a beautiful phrase! I can conjure up a great image: glistening, white-robed angels with powerful, silky wings, invisible in our every day yet hovering around us with benevolence. I feel confident I could entertain these angels, welcome them into my home, share whatever I have with them. It would be easy.

The author who wrote a letter to the Hebrews knew my silliness, of course. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. Those imprisoned? Those being tortured? No, not so easy to welcome them into my home and share what I have with them.

Throughout the New Testament, however, we are purposely reminded of this directive over and over again, the sheer repetition itself addressing our human penchant for fickle amnesia. I start each day knowing I am to model radical hospitality; yet as I go through my day, I need reminding every 15 minutes who needs my hospitality most. Whose path has crossed mine even for a few seconds at the office, the store, the sidewalk, the clinic, the school? Who I was blind to, who needs kindness or help, or even just acknowledgement?

I am certain I fail at this much more than I succeed in keeping my eyes open to those imprisoned by poverty, injustice, and prejudice; or tortured by abuse, mental illness, loneliness. But once in a while, if I’m really paying attention — just for a second — I glimpse the glistening wing of an angel in a stranger’s eyes.

Written by Bernadette Reda

Bernadette is a writer, mom, wife, grandmum, and communication scholar who finds inexhaustible joy and humor in her dogs, nature, music, and fixing small appliances. She also delights in sharing witty puns and homemade jokes. Bernadette helps with Walking the Mourner’s Path and Healing Touch, and attends the 8:45 service.

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