03 August 2013

hospitality in purple

There are not a large number of saints on the liturgical calendar that I keep up with:  St. Benedict, St. Francis, and a few others.  One from the New Testament that I especially like is St. Lydia, who we meet in Acts 16.  Because she is a dealer in purple cloth, a valuable commodity, she has a bit of wealth.  But more than that, she is an icon (literally) of hospitality.  She insists that Paul and his friends stay at her home.

The fact that they have met at a place of prayer figures significantly.  Before we learn of her trade, we are told that she is “a worshiper of God” (v. 14).  She has her priorities in order, and her influence has been transmitted through time and space.

On a personal note, this is also the anniversary of my baptism, which happened 27 years ago.  It pleases me greatly that it coincides with the day we remember our ancestor in the faith, Lydia!

(The top image is based on Lydia from the movie Beetlejuice, which I must confess I have yet to see.)