Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-09-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Hospitality: Welcoming the Stranger
Open To Thinking, a recurring column
by Nick Patricca
2013-12-04

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


In Luke 2 and Matthew 2, Joseph and a very pregnant Mary journey to Bethlehem, their ancestral home town, in order to register for the census decreed by Caesar Augustus. If you have ever been to Bethlehem, you know that the people of Bethlehem scoff at the idea that Mary and Joseph had to apply to an inn for shelter. Their sense of hospitality is so strong they affirm categorically that Joseph and Mary were housed by relatives in their stable. Stables were usually beneath the living quarters of a family household and immensely preferable to an inn. They were filled with the warmth of the animals and provided good protective shelter for humans.

The code of hospitality plays a key role in the ethics of the Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Historically, hospitality functions as a core value for all of the cultures of the Mediterranean dating back far before the era of Abraham and the advent of Semitic spirituality.

The code of hospitality applies to your kin, your neighbor, and the stranger. The hospitality given to Joseph and Mary is based in blood or family kinship. The parable of the good Samaritan ( Luke 10: 29-37 ) demonstrates how the code of hospitality understands 'neighbor.' In this parable, Jesus teaches that your neighbor is the person you encounter who needs you regardless of the person's race or religion or tribe.

The sacred scriptures of all three Abrahamic religions teach philoxenia 'love of the stranger' in opposition to xenophobia 'fear of the stranger.' For all three traditions, the classic paradigmatic example of hospitality toward the stranger is in Genesis 18 which celebrates how generously Abraham embraces the three strangers who pass by his tent. Not waiting for the strangers to ask for water and bread, Abraham rushes toward them to invite them to rest and refresh themselves. He gives them not just 'a morsel of bread' but clean water to wash their feet and a feast of freshly prepared foods. As it turns out the three strangers are angels sent by God to announce that Sarah ( who had been thought to be barren ) was with child and would give birth to a son.

The stranger who crosses our paths or who enters our homes presents the opportunity for us to see ourselves and our world in profoundly new ways. The strangeness of the stranger has many forms; it is not just about being a foreigner or a person from another culture or religion. The stranger can be found in a friend, a family member, a condition, or a situation.

Joseph shows hospitality to Mary by accepting the strangeness of her pregnancy; he shows hospitality to Jesus by accepting him as his son. On the feast of St. Joseph ( 19 March ) Sicilians honor the hospitality of Joseph by offering a fabled array of delicious foods called a St. Joseph's Table open to all who come to their door.

Luke 24: 13 -35 narrates my favorite example of hospitality: the Emmaus story. Two men are walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus. They are followers of Jesus. They have just seen the crucifixion and death of the Messiah, the person they believed would usher in the reign of God and bring justice and peace into the world. Full of bitter disappointment, they walk the road in silence. But, even though these disciples are consumed with despair and preoccupied with the failure of Jesus, they are conscious enough and generous enough to invite a traveler on the road to eat with them. As they share their bread with the stranger, they tell him about their lost hope. The stranger asks them to tell him about the teachings of Jesus. As the disciples seek to explain the message of Jesus to the stranger, they come to understand that the reign of God is not an earthly kingdom but the reign of love in our hearts. In conversation with the stranger, the despairing disciples find hope in a new understanding of the message of Jesus.

In the early years of Gay Liberation, my friend Rick Paul asked me to write an article on Gay Spirituality. Rick suggested that our experience of being 'other' or of being 'rejected' might positively affect our consciousness, might make our consciences more sensitive to injustice in our society. My article, 'Our Universe Is Our Home: We Are Always Welcome,' did not answer Rick's questions. But, the writing of this article did make me understand the meaning of the Emmaus story. It made me understand that no matter what befalls me I must remain conscious of the other next to me and in me.

Nick Patricca is professor emeritus at Loyola University Chicago, president of Chicago Network and playwright emeritus at Victory Gardens Theater.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Missing Millett: Her role in a coming-out 2017-09-13 - I never read Sexual Politics. That's the most famous work of Kate Millett, who died earlier this week. This text, feminist scholars say, ...


Gay News

VIEWS Hurricane Harvey's gay problem? 2017-09-13 - Since the intentional misreading of the Sodom and Gomorrah story in Genesis 19 in the Bible where the twin cities were supposedly destroyed ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN What can happen when a state goes to pot? 2017-09-06 - In recent years, many states, including Colorado, have legalized marijuana for medical purposes without much fanfare or controversy. However, when the citizens of ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINTS Illinois takes a big step forward with new vital records law 2017-09-06 - I am a proud transgender woman born and raised in Illinois. But that does not define me completely. I am also a runner, ...


Gay News

LETTERS Trump attacks marginalized communities 2017-09-06 - Dear Editor: President Trump recently made two announcements—and, as in the past, both are direct attacks on our communities. First, the ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Was the Resist March the 'All Lives Matter' movement of 2017? 2017-09-05 - WIn the age of social media and hashtags, sometimes it feels like we are all connected, or a part of one big group. ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Expanding our definition of Pride? 2017-08-30 - In the city of Philadelphia, black and brown stripes were added to a rainbow flag, which was the catalyst to the debate of ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN Back-to-school time in the Trump era 2017-08-30 - My son is starting high school this fall, which I find hard to believe—it seems like just yesterday that I was driving him ...


Gay News

LETTERS Banning the ban 2017-08-30 - Dear editor: We will not tolerate the transgender military ban. What message does it send to our armed forces and our country ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Standing Up 2017-08-23 - "Stand up for yourself, but not against others." My loving and talented girlfriend quoted that the other night in response to me writing ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.