• Olivia M. Bannan

SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME JULY 21, 2019


Mass Readings:

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me." The Lord said to her in reply, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her."

REFLECTION: "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her."

In the first reading, Abraham entertained God with generosity, hospitality and service. God was pleased and announced Sarah's pregnancy and said He would be back in one year. God did not forget Abraham.

In today's gospel, Jesus stopped at the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus in Bethany on His way for Jerusalem. He enjoyed their company. In the spontaneous dialogue that happens among friends, Martha asked Jesus if He did not care that she was left to herself to do the serving while Mary sat at His feet conversing with Him. Martha was preparing the Lord's meal while Mary found her meal in what Jesus was saying. Martha was coping while Mary was feasting and therefore Martha was becoming annoyed.

"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her."

When PAPA has their MTC ( Mass Testimony and Consecration) we come together to be with Jesus, celebrating Mass. The house is cleaned up, the chairs and altar are arranged in anticipation of the Lord. Beautiful flowers are bought. The excitement is palpable. We pray, worship and thank God. We celebrate our lives together when we gather for food. We are kindred spirits enjoying each others company.

Jesus deserves our loving attention more than anyone else. Martha was distracted with too much service and Mary sat at the Lord's feet and listened to His teaching, forgetting about her sister. Our secular work should be both a 'Martha and Mary' moment. Our work should be a prayer with God by our side, doing our work well and offering all to Him. Action and contemplation should not be opposite manners of living our christian life.

We have to learn the union of both walks of life that Martha and Mary represent. We have a life that requires our work and caring for the daily events of life (Martha). But we also need a contemplative life (Mary). We must find God in our ordinary daily lives--caring for children, working, caring for parents, cleaning, teaching, nursing, etc. It is in this offering our work up to God where He finds us. But there also needs to be a time to spend with God, soul to Maker, without interruption, allowing Him into our hearts.

Have we perfected the love of Mary with the work ethic of Martha in our lives? Praying that our priests can show the spiritual part of their lives but also be able to share their lives with us.


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