In the heart of summer, these are long and lazy days for many of us. There’s time for rest, vacation, swimming, and barbecues with family and friends. In these sunny days and starry nights, our backyards and front porches can feel like the safest and best places to be.
In July, Pope Francis asks us to pray for social friendship: “that in social, economic and political situations of conflict, we may be courageous and passionate architects.” In the Gospels, we see Jesus reaching out to draw all people into the Kingdom of God. He meets with Greeks and the poor, visits with lawyers and Pharisees, dines with women and sinners and Samaritans.
Even in these summer days of rest and recreation, we’re invited to open our circle wider—to welcome someone new or to meet old friends in new ways.
Meeting different people can be fun and exciting! It can mean new ideas, new stories, and new experiences. And, sometimes, it’s not easy. In a wounded world filled with conflict and division, it can be difficult to go beyond my neighborhood, my friends and family. How can I invite visitors into my backyard? Where can I go to meet new friends on their front porches?
Fr. Joe Laramie, SJ
Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (United States)