Pearls of the Word

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Practice hospitality

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"Practice hospitality [philoxenos] to one another without complaining" (1 Peter 4:9).

Hospitality, Greek word philoxenos, literally means 'love the stranger'; of course it is opposed to xenophobia that is the fear of the stranger. The law of Leviticus tells us to love the stranger as oneself (Leviticus 19:34) and Jesus asks us to welcome the stranger as we would welcome Himself (Matthew 25:35).

Hospitality is a gift of grace to serve others, which we are called to do as good stewards of the manifold grace of God (1 Peter 4:10). So let us exercise it without annoyance (without complaining) because we can entertain angels without knowing it (Hebrew 13:2).