Welcoming travelers and showing hospitality was an important characteristic of Jewish people in the Old Testament and continues in the New Testament. Just a few examples are Deuteronomy 10:19 and Leviticus 19:34; Matthew 5:43-44, 25:35, 40; Romans 13:8, 10; Hebrews 13:1 and Romans 12:13. Jesus also told a story or parable about how to treat our "neighbors." It's the story of the Good Samaritan and the neighbor in question is a complete stranger (Luke 10:29-37). While traveling a main road a man is set upon by robbers who beat him, strip him and leave him half dead. Some people, who certainly knew how to treat a traveler, passed him by. But a Samaritan, a person possibly less-versed in Jewish law, stopped and saw to the victim's every need - care for his wounds, transportation and lodging, plus all of his expenses. The Samaritan not only saw the man in the road, he treated him like family, with love, and took care of him. It was the Samaritan who showed mercy.
The first four of the Corporal Works of Mercy are to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked and shelter the homeless or the traveler. The Good Samaritan did all of these at one time. He treated the hapless man with respect and dignity. He didn't ask what kind of man the victim was, whether he was Jewish or Roman, slave or free, good or evil. He saw someone who desperately needed help and he provided it.
For Reflection: Many people today are without jobs, without homes, without enough medical insurance. If we want to follow the command of Jesus to love your neighbor as yourself, we must respond. We cannot pass by, blind to the need and suffering of others.
Let us pray. Jesus, as I travel the roads, help me to see, to love, to respond in mercy.
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.