“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Anybody who has had a guest over in their home knows that a little housekeeping is due before the guest arrives. Among other things, we want to present ourselves in the best way possible. But most of all, we want to be hospitable to our guest. Tidying up is part of being hospitable. As guests of a common home, “earth,” God provides us with some housekeeping – watering the earth and making it fertile. This is one way God shows hospitality towards us.
In this Lenten season, we are called to do some tidying up as well—in our common home and in our hearts. What will Jesus say about how we have taken care of the Earth when he comes again? Will it be a hospitable place for him? This is not just a question of the future. How have we been hospitable to him now—especially to the foreigner and the stranger?
Oh God, I wish from now on
to be the first to become conscious
of all that the world loves, pursues, and suffers.
I want to be the first to seek,
to sympathize, and to suffer;
the first to unfold and sacrifice myself,
to become more widely human
and more nobly of the earth
than any of the world’s servants.
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.