In The Rule of St. Benedict, it states, “All guests to the monastery should be welcomed as Christ because he will say, ‘I was a stranger, and you took me in’ (Matt. 25:35). Show them every courtesy, especially servants of God and pilgrims…Special care should be taken of the poor and pilgrims for Christ is truly made welcome in them.” (Chapter 53).
Although I have read The Rule numerous times in my life, it was not until the past year that I saw this chapter exercised on daily basis by many of my coworkers, and in turn, myself. As the Director of Mission and Hospitality for Dining Services at the University of Mary, one of my primary responsibilities is the care and hospitable reception of not only our students, faculty, and staff, but all guests that visit the campus. The Crow’s Nest Campus Restaurant in the Lumen Vitae University Center is the epicenter of hospitality on the UMary Campus and the place where most people eat on daily basis. In my position, it is my duty to serve all who enter and receive them as Christ. They are to be treated with dignity and respect while they enjoy their meal with us.
Lately, I have been reflecting on my position and how it corresponds with my Catholic Faith and love for Sacred Scripture. As I started to do some simple research, I realized that there are quite a few scriptural passages that speak directly to hospitality, and even more directly to the words of St. Benedict from his Rule. The following scriptural passages are the ones that I found to be fitting for my position, however, there are many more than the ones listed below.
If you work in hospitality or know someone that does, I hope that you will reflect on these and/or send them to someone that would benefit from them.
“Practice hospitality ungrudgingly to one another.” – 1 Peter 4:9
“You shall not oppress a stranger; you know the heart of a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” – Exodus 23:9
“the sojourner has not lodged in the street; I have opened my doors to the wayfarer…” – Job 31:32
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” – Hebrews 13:2
“…but hospitable, a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright, holy, and self-controlled…” – Titus 1:8
“Beloved, it is a loyal thing you do when you render any service to the brethren, especially to strangers…” – 3 John 1:5
“Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.” – Romans 12:13
“Now as they went on their way, he entered a village; and a woman named Martha received him into her house.” – Luke 10:38
“…rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to men…” – Ephesians 6:7
“He said, ‘Come in, O blessed of the Lord; why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.’ – Genesis 24:31
Saint Benedict…Pray for Us.
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