Gleaning from Fr. Ronald Rolheiser’s book, Sacred Fire, he tells us about the biblical challenge for us to welcome the stranger. God is in the “other,” and for us to accept and welcome the stranger presents the unfamiliar as God’s revelation.
It’s within reason to be courteous or polite as some other person passes us walking by. Being kind and polite shows respect for the individual. That unfamiliar stranger can come from anywhere. It is the respectful attitude we keep that shows and brings the light of Christ and reveals God’s revelation. This quote came from Sacred Fire by theologian, social activist, and professor Parker Palmer:
God uses the stranger to shake us from our conventional points of view, to remove the scales of worldly assumptions from our eyes. God is a stranger to us, and it is at the risk of missing God’s truth that we domesticate God, reduce God to the role of familiar friend.
When God is not reduced, we experience a renewal in our daily faith. A person who was once unfamiliar becomes a beloved soul. This is where CARITAS For Children offers renewal. Sponsorship through this Catholic Lay Apostolate provides a new awakening for you and the child. A new awakening brings the light of Christ to a new comprehension, removing “the scales of worldly assumptions from our eyes.”
In a community striving for love and acceptance, fear and xenophobia have no place. Perhaps in learning from the other person we begin to listen more closely. Gratitude comes from the encounter of having differences.We don’t seek purposely seek out strangers on a daily basis. The times when we are surprised by the other in our midst are times of strengthening, developing our faith and reason. Rolheiser, in his book, certainly gives us more surprises to guide our maturing lives.