Seek the stranger: Creating time in your schedule!
One of the most famous icons in sacred art is the image of the three guests of Abraham and Sarah. Represented as three angels, the icon has also been seen as a reference to the three Divine Persons of the Holy Trinity. Abraham and Sarah, without knowing it, welcome the three strangers with loving hospitality. They are told that in a year, they will have the child they had been waiting for, for so long. It strikes me that the note is made that Abraham, in the heat of the day, was sitting at the entrance of the tent. He wasn't resting totally in the shade of the tent taking a nap, but at the entrance looking out. It was that disposition of looking beyond his home, beyond his own comfort, that gave way to welcoming the strangers. That is a powerful image for our parish and homes. So often we get caught up in our own concerns and comfort. However, we are called to look into the world and welcome the stranger. Especially in our current American political climate, it is tempting to want to hide in our tents because every "stranger" has been politicized; from the migrant to the unborn child. We even make the politics a tent to hide in and we remain hidden where we are comfortable. As disciples of the rejected and crucified Lord Jesus Christ who emptied Himself for our sake, we must go beyond our tents and encounter the stranger as Jesus encounters us. During the heat of the summer, let us start by making room for others in our schedule and prayers. Let us risk looking beyond political labels to see the image and likeness of God in our neighbor. Let us seek out the stranger. Saint John Paul II, pray for us!