The story of Martha’s conversation with Jesus and complaints about her sister Mary remind us to pay attention to all we do...
Reflections on the readings for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 17, 2022): GN 18:1-10; PS 15:2-3,3-4,5; COL 1:24-28; LK 10:38-42
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
We also need to make the best choices we can for ourselves and others affected by them.
The sisters we meet in today’s Gospel reading are loyal disciples of Jesus. They have opened their home to Him and other disciples on more than one occasion. It’s even possible that this is not the first time Martha has fumed over feeling abandoned by Mary. She dwells on all the chores she has to do in order to properly welcome their beloved Teacher and the rest of the guests. But this time, seeing her sister sitting at our Lord’s feet along with the others and listening to His life-changing words was too much. Martha actually suggests that Jesus does not care about her -- and then she tells Him to make Mary come help her. “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’” (Luke 10:41-42).
Martha was so overwhelmed that she could not embrace the joy and peace that Jesus brought into their home. She kept dwelling on a long list of things to do rather than taking time to be happy in His company. Mary had chosen to spend time with Him. Martha was not wrong in serving Christ and the other guests in a material way. But she had made her efforts into a burden instead of a loving, generous gift of her time and talents. St. Gregory the Great, a 6th century pope and a Doctor of the Church, wrote about this Scripture passage: “Although it is normal and good for the active life to pass over into the contemplative life, often the soul is driven by contemplation to active works of charity. Precisely the contemplative vision calls us back to activity, for it understands that the labor of good words must never be abandoned while we are in this life.” Martha’s mindset more than her actions separated her from Jesus. We all need to make choices about the way we spend our time. At different times and in different ways, each of us act like Mary or like Martha. But we have to try to live each moment fully aware of God’s presence. Whether we are in church or home or work or wherever, He is there for us. Let us make an effort to be there for Him.