Anybody who has had a guest over in their home knows that a little housekeeping is due before the guest arrives. Among other things, we want to present ourselves in the best way possible. But most of all, we want to be hospitable to our guest. Tidying up is part of being hospitable. As guests of a common home, “earth,” God provides us with some housekeeping – watering the earth and making it fertile. This is one way God shows hospitality towards us.

In this Lenten season, we are called to do some tidying up as wellin our common home and in our hearts. What will Jesus say about how we have taken care of the Earth when he comes again? Will it be a hospitable place for him? This is not just a question of the future. How have we been hospitable to him nowespecially to the foreigner and the stranger?

—James Antonio, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Oregon Province, is currently studying philosophy at St. Louis University. He lives at the Bellarmine House of Studies in St. Louis.