Jesus walks with us and we can offer Him hospitality
St. Augustine, Sermon 239, early 5th c. AD
“Hospitality is offered on earth to Him who prepares for us a place in heaven, for in the Gospel of John He says: ‘In my Father‘s house there are many mansions. Were it not so, I should have told you, because I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again, and I will take you to myself.’ The Lord of heaven willed to be a Sojourner on earth ; He, by whom the world was made, willed to be a Wayfarer in the world ; He deigned to be a Guest that you might obtain a blessing by receiving Him. When He entered the house as a Guest, it was not because He was in need of shelter.“
(translation: "Saint Augustine, Sermons on the Liturgical Seasons", sr. Mary Sarah Muldowney, trans., NY, 1959, p. 245)
Duccio di Buoninsegna, part of the Maestà of the Siena Cathedral (14th c.)
Julian of Vezelay, Sermon 16, 12th c. AD
“ ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me.’ The just is hospitable [...] Why wrinkle your forehead, frown your eyebrows, pucker your nose and look steadfastly on the ground? Put a smile, instead, upon your face and your heart, knowing that ‘God loves a cheerful giver’ (II Cor. 9:7), remembering that Cleophas compelled him to enter, him who was about to pursue his way (Lk 24:13 )“.
William of Bourges, Book of the Wars of the Lord, ch. 23, written ca. 1235
“Jeremiah prophesied upon the Lord’s journey to Emmaus: ‘Leca atanu miqueue israel‘, which means: We have sinned against you, the hope of Israel, our Saviour in times of trial. Why will you be as a stranger, God on earth, and as a traveller that diverts to stop for a night? (Jr 14: 7-8). The prophecy was fulfilled when the disciples said to the Lord: ‘Stay with us, Lord, as the evening has fallen and the day is on the decline‘ (Lk 24:29). And David, in the person of Christ: I became an unknown person to my brothers, a stranger to the sons of my mother (Ps 68:9). And again: Do not keep quiet, because I am a stranger with thee and a sojourner as all my fathers (Ps 38:13). And again: I am a stranger on the earth (Ps 118:19)...“
François Mauriac, Life of Jesus, ch. 27 (written in 1936)
“Who among us does not know the inn at Emmaus? Who has not walked on this road one evening when all seemed lost? Christ was dead within us. They had taken him from us - the world, the philosophers and sages, our passions. There was no Jesus for us on the earth. We followed a road, and Someone walked at our side. We were alone and we were not alone. It was evening. Here was an open door, the obscurity of a room where the flame from the fireplace lighted only the trampled earth and made the shadows move. O bread that was broken! O breaking of the bread, consummated despite so much misery. ‘Stay with us...the day declineth’...“
(translation: Julie Kernan, London, 1937, pp. 271-272)
Janet Brooks Gerloff, 20th c.