Stranger doesn't seem like a very modern word. It doesn't fit the image of a global village of mutual understanding. Instead it brings to mind some primitive settlement where people live in constant fear of outsiders.

Maybe that's why we find these words from the Old Testament of the Bible so remarkable: "Love ye therefore the stranger." The Old Testament also gives a number of instructions about the care and hospitality to be extended to the stranger. One of these is followed by the comment "for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."

This Sentinel reaches out to "the heart of the stranger" in each of us. Who hasn't at some point felt a yearning to be home again, to be back in the family? Maybe it's racial or religious intolerance that has made us feel outcast. Maybe our anger at someone has put us at a cold distance. Or perhaps we feel that illness is separating us from others. Whatever the situation, there is a hospitality that never fails to welcome us. It is the embrace of divine Love. In the warmth of that embrace we feel certain not only that we are deeply cherished but that each of us is actually Love's spiritual expression.

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The peace of God is yours
June 15, 1992

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