Welcoming Jesus into your heart

Recently I read a story about the account of Christ’s birth in the Gospel of Luke. It suggested most of us are like the innkeeper — so caught up with the busyness and chaos of our lives that we “turn away” Jesus. We often feel like we don’t have enough time, and therefore, we don’t make space for him often enough in our hearts.

The innkeeper, of course, couldn’t have realized who that little family was. But he saw the couple’s situation. Could he have found it in his heart to offer greater hospitality through more comfortable accommodations?  Probably at an inconvenience. But imagine the regret he must have felt afterwards.

How often do we wish we had more time to pray, to talk to God? Work, family and social obligations get in the way. We think – Jesus is always there for us, so it’s okay if we’re not always there for him. He gets it.

But how much better do we feel when we do take the time?

And we can’t forget that Jesus is a living God. He challenges us to see His presence and honor His presence in everyone. That means if we want to truly live as Christians, we must be welcoming and kind to everyone – as much as possible. Sometimes more than we think is possible.

St. Angela Merici, who founded our order about 500 years ago, often spoke of Jesus – her rock in all matters of life. This one counsel, in particular, reminds me to see God’s presence in others: “Be sincerely kind to every one according to the words of our Lord: ‘Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart.’”

Google the topic “the importance of welcoming Jesus into our hearts” and you’ll find many examples in the Bible to guide you. One I want to share with you is from Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Try to focus a few minutes a day on welcoming Jesus into your heart, letting him work his plans, and letting him fill you with hope.