In the day and age of cell phones and smart phones, instant messaging and texting, not to mention GPS tracking and location finders, it seems almost impossible to have unexpected visitors. But recently I experienced that great joyful surprise when two College of St. Scholastica alumni stopped by to visit.
Providentially, I was able to arrange my afternoon to spend time with my unexpected visitors. I invited them to join me for Eucharist and then we went to lunch. We reminisced about the years they spent at CSS and the things we did together. They caught me up on their families and their jobs (both are nurses) and I was able to share with them what is happening in my life. I must admit it was time well spent and I found it very refreshing. It was a true joy to put Benedictine hospitality into practice!
In the Bible we hear many accounts of unexpected visitors. Jesus tells the parable of the unexpected visitor, who comes knocking late at night. In Genesis, we learn of three unexpected visitors who come to Abraham and Sarah. Even the Blessed Mother had someone show up unannounced only to make a great announcement.
What do we learn from unexpected visitors? What gift are they to us? From the parable of the unexpected visitor we learn that things can happen at any time, day or night, and we have to be ready to respond. From the story of Abraham and Sarah’s guest we learn that a guest may bring unexpected blessings and remind us of God’s presence in our lives. Mary’s unexpected angelic visitor teaches us that nothing is impossible for God.
Whether they are angels from heaven, promptings of the Holy Spirit, or friends from the past be willing to make room and time for unexpected visitors. You don’t want to miss the blessings they may bring!
Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God.