The disciples were downhearted about Jesus’ death when a stranger travelling on the same road asked them what they were talking about. When the stranger appeared to be continuing down the road, the disciples invited him to stay overnight.
The disciples did not worry about what they would eat, but they offered the stranger the gift of hospitality with no expectation of return. And then they found out it was Jesus.
It’s not common these days for travellers to stay in homes of people they meet along the way. They book a motel or call friends to inquire about staying overnight before they leave home. The same happens with meal invitations; they’re planned, too. It’s wise to plan for a journey.
Maybe that’s what happens with the Christmas dinners for poor folks. They go with the anticipation of a meal. They have empty bellies and the soup kitchens are closed. In our North American climate, it’s bitter cold at that time of year. The invitation stands that those who are on the road may go and eat. And maybe they find something more, too.
Heavenly Father, help us to be mindful of those travelling where the road is rough. May we lighten their loads, if only for a short while, and offer hospitality. Amen. — CRW