Hundreds of Catholic theological ethicists from around the world recently gathered in Sarajevo, Bosnia, a city that embodies many of the ethical crises of our world today.
There is perhaps no biblical virtue more foreign to the contemporary Western mind than hospitality. For us, the deeply ethical connotations of hospitality for the stranger—the resident alien or refugee—have been largely replaced with a call for general neighborliness and an often all-too-partisan welcome.
The quest for a homeland and the experience of being a stranger and an alien—a refugee—in the world is central to the calling of the faithful in Hebrews 11. This reality should remain integral to our self-understanding as the people of God today.
Jesus teaches his disciples the meaning of waiting in a faithful manner. Keeping watch for God’s work within the world requires avoidance of distraction and a desperate faithfulness.