by Fr. Bob Yori, associate priest of MH.
At Christmas 1967, I was at a language school in Latin America where I had been sent to study Spanish. About twelve or fourteen of us lived in a very nice house, which even had a swimming pool in the patio. The problem was that it had been designed for a family of five. So we slept in double bunks with only shelves to store our clothes.
Normally we had meals in a central dining area, but some of us had gone home for the holidays, and no provisions had been made for meals for the rest of us on Christmas Day.
Restaurants were not readily available, and we had gone to town on a bus and bought some bread, cold cuts, cheese, and fruit.
Just as we were sitting down to our make-shift Christmas dinner, a bus pulled up and about fifteen or twenty people—men and women of varying ages—got off. They were arriving for the next semester, and they were obviously very tired and at a loss as to where to go or to whom to turn. Of course, no arrangements had been made for their meals either!
My first reaction was to think, Oh, no! Why did they have to come now? We have barely enough food for ourselves, and where will they stay?
But what should have been immediately obvious soon came to me. We were called to offer hospitality and to share what we had.
What happened? Well, what had begun as a rather subdued celebration of Christmas turned into a heart-warming experience.
Jesus had knocked at the door, the door of my heart, and I had very nearly turned him away!
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