Welcoming the Stranger – An Examination of Conscience

by | Sep 30, 2017 | Formation, Reflections | 1 comment

Fr. Robert Maloney recently reminded us of St. Vincent’s love for scripture and its impact on him. In this year of welcoming the stranger, one of the ways of measuring scripture’s impact on us is an examination of our lives against key scriptural verses. Here is a list of important verse from the Bible and some questions to think about.
The following list of Bible verses comes from the New Revised Standard Version

Deuteronomy 10:19 You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

  • Do I recognize that I am a stranger?
  • Am I so immersed in my privileges that I can not see others lacking my privileges?

Leviticus 19:34 The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

  • How do I treat the aliens in my life?
  • Who do I not treat as citizens?

Matthew 5:43-44 You have heard that it was said, ‘you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy’. But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.

  • What are the signs of hating your neighbor as the enemy?
  • Who do I consider my enemy?

Matthew 25:40 Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of my brethren you did it to me.

  • Do I see Christ in the least of my brothers and sisters?
  • How do I treat Christ in the least of my brothers and sisters?

Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

  • Have I ever thought of the root of my obligation to love… that God has loved me?
  • Do I see the least among us as strangers or neighbors?

Romans 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

  • Is this just poetry?
  • Do I really see strangers as neighbors?

Acts 10:34 Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

  • Can I make a fearless inventory of the people who I show partiality to?
  • In light of this verse what does it me for me to be made in the image and likeness of GO

3 John 1:5 Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the friends, even though they are strangers to you; they have testified to your love before the church. You do well to send them on in a manner worthy of God; for they began their journey for the sake of Christ, accepting no support from non-believers. Therefore we ought to support such people, so that they may become co-workers with the truth.

  • Are there any strangers in my circle? Do I support them?
  • What does it mean to be co-workers in the truth?

Luke 10:27 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.

  • Do I accept Jesus’ response to the question who is my neighbor?
  • What does it mean in my daily life to love my neighbor as myself?

Hebrews 13: 1 Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

  • Looking back can I recall when I entertained angels?
  • Can I name some instances when I have been hospitable to strangers?

Colossians 3:11 In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.

  • DO I harbor superiority feelings about my tribe/culture?
  • Am I ready to be countercultural?

Matthew 25: 35 I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

  • Can I recognize times when I was hungry and thirsty, etc.
  • Do I really live believing that this is the basis on which I will be judged

Romans 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

  • Do I ever extend myself to the stranger?
  • Do I just give what I no longer need or want?

1 Comment

  1. Sr. Pat Connolly, DC

    Excellent and thoughtful integration of Scripture with the realities of ourselves being challenged to adjust to and embrace change in the form of new human beings coming from cultures we, often, can barely understand! What would Jesus do? The Examination of Conscience honestly prayed with calls us onward.

    Thanks for this gift. I work a lot with immigrants and refugees and this helps keep me focused.

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