Then an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, “Get up and head south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route.” Acts 8:26
A friend who recently returned to Church after having been alienated for decades explained how his homecoming came about. It seems a parish in a nearby town ran a newspaper ad inviting all those who had been hurt by the Church to attend a service of healing and reconciliation. He decided to attend and was so moved by the community and pastor’s hospitality and humility that he couldn’t help but change his heart and mind.
We probably won’t be visited by an angel, but the Holy Spirit continues to inspire us to reach out to those who we consider outsiders and even outcasts. That might very well mean that we must leave our comfort zone and rub shoulders with the rich, the poor, the conservative, the liberal, as well as those of another religion or no religion at all.