To me this reads like one more version of the beatitudes or simply said treat others as you want to be treated. Paul, speaking to the new fledgling Christian communities, must have found it necessary to explain why they should be different because of the Christ experience.

These letters were written hundreds of years in the past. Preserve the good; treat one another with respect; have hope; serve God; and basically love one another with true affection, and be welcoming.

We are living in times when this same message must be repeated over and over. It is not so difficult to apply the sentiment to the locals in my community and the members of my own church. But I find it pretty difficult outside my own comfort zone–to refugees and the undocumented. So do we build walls or do we knock down the walls as we see the face of God looking at us for a place to rest his head?

—Camille Devaney serves as Board chair for the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP).