The Bible talks a lot about hospitality. In the New Testament alone, hospitality is given as an essential characteristic of a mature and practicing Christian.
Here are just a few of the many places hospitality appears in Sacred Scripture:
- Romans 12:13: Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
- Hebrews 13:2: Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.
- Titus 1:8: but he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled.
- 1 Timothy 3:2: Now a bishop must be above reproach, married only once, temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an apt teacher . . .
In fact, hospitality is such serious business for the Church that the Council of Trent laid it out as a duty that,
"all who hold any ecclesiastical benefices, whether secular or regular, to accustom themselves, as far as their revenues will allow, to exercise with alacrity and kindness the office of hospitality, so frequently commended by the holy Fathers; being mindful that those who cherish hospitality receive Christ in the person of their guests."
Listen to what Fr. Leo Patalinghug has to say about good hospitality as a Christian virtue in the video below, or in his book Epic Food Fight.
Hospitality is not only a Christian duty, but an easy and practical way to extend to others the love of Christ - and it has a huge and lasting impact for those on the receiving end. As Fr. Leo says in the video above, "Feeding somebody is a way to heal them."
For more on this topic you can read this great article over at CatholicCulture.org: Hospitality Is Biblical — and It's Not Optional.
Have you received the healing effect of hospitality from someone in your life? If so, please share your story in the comments below!