In the life of faith, we are constantly called to practise hospitality—opening our doors, reaching out with warmth and joy, valuing and welcoming those whose life experiences and outlooks might differ significantly from our own but whose inherent human dignity demands our respect and care.
This week we share a few stories that challenge and inspire us to adopt just such a spirit of Christ-like hospitality, and to reflect on how we might truly welcome and bless our neighbours, even when they don't always understand or appreciate the gifts we offer.
In a Vespers homily on his recent trip to Canada, Pope Francis called the Church to respond with joy and discernment to the challenges posed by secularism, rather than with fear or defensiveness. An authentic, joyful life of faith, he said, 'discerns what is good and persistently seeks it,' demonstrating 'the freedom that sets others free, the compassion that asks for nothing in return, the mercy that silently speaks of Christ.'
We also take a look at the classic '90s film Big Night, and at what it might say to us about hospitality, vocation and the Church's mission in a culture that often values celebrity and influence over meaning and relationship.
And as we mark Homelessness Week, we hear the story of Helen, who found herself unexpectedly without a home, and who is now one of 436 older people living in VMCH’s 21 affordable homes communities. ‘To know this place was mine was amazing,’ she says. Helen is representative of the fastest growing cohort of people experiencing homelessness: women aged over 55. By providing older women with affordable housing, VMCH’s is welcoming and helping to support some the most vulnerable people in the community.