Along my office hallway a sign has been mysteriously posted:
HOSPITALITY NOT HOSTILITY. Apart from the fact that I find capital
letters extremely inhospitable, the sentiment seems apt, and leads me
into thinking about Hebrews 13.
My first inclination after reading “The Vatican’s Ten Commandments for Drivers” (reported in CenturyMarks, July 10) was to wonder if there were not more urgent matters for the papacy to be pondering. But my next drive down Michigan Avenue reminded me of how relevant the commandments are: “The road shall be for you a means of communion between people. . . .
When friends gave birth last fall to Lydia, she was normal and healthy.
But three months later the seizures began, and she was diagnosed with a
rare genetic disorder, Aicardi Syndrome. Now she clings to life
precariously. In preparing for her death, her parents asked me for
funeral resources, and I suggested Jeremiah 1:4-10.
In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus begins with the comforting word: “Do not
be afraid!” Elsewhere, he has told us not to be afraid in the middle of
a raging storm, or in the dark of night, or when he confronts us like a
ghost after resurrection.
In June a mob of hundreds of people brutally attacked a group of Vietnamese Mennonites, including Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang and 20 church leaders and Bible college students, who had gathered for a religious retreat. More than 300 plainclothes police and security forces stormed the host church at night under the pretext of conducting an “administrative search.” The pastor, known for defending the rights of Vietnamese minorities, suffered injuries to his head and chest and was left with broken teeth. For years, Vietnamese authorities have been accused of suppressing Protestants and other religious groups. These churches are prohibited from reaching out to children and evangelizing openly (Ecumenical News).