Sunday, July 17, 2016

Reflection: Luke 10:38-42

The 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Luke 10:38-42

Today we have the familiar story of Martha and Mary.  As we know, Martha was a workaholic and Mary was a contemplative.  When Jesus arrived in the town where Mary and Martha lived, He immediately went to their home.   Martha welcomed him and then she immediately went to the kitchen to prepare a delicious meal for him. 

Mary, however, sat down at Jesus’ feet.  She talked with him and listened attentively to him.  As time went on Martha began to get angry with Mary because she was in the kitchen doing all the work and Mary was not helping at all!  In Martha’s mind, the very least Mary could do was ask her if she needed help with the meal preparation.  However, Mary did not do so. 

While Martha was cooking, her anger escalated until she was extremely upset and angry.  Here she was slaving away at the stove while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet talking with Him.   Finally Martha had had it; she decided to express her frustration and anger.  She went to Jesus and said:  “Lord, do you not care that Mary has left me to do all the work?  Tell her to help me!”  However, Jesus did not respond to Martha as she hoped.  Rather Jesus scolded Martha for being so anxious and worried.  Then He told Martha: “There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

Put yourself in Martha’s shoes.  How do you think you would respond to this reprimand?  Would you react as Martha did or would you pause and reflect on Jesus’ statement and your reaction to his words?  Would you be rational enough to ask yourself:  “Am I jealous of Mary’s relationship with Jesus?  Are my priorities out of order?”

Today Jesus asks each of us:  What takes priority in your life?   One way to answer this question is to ask ourselves:  How do I use my time?  Do I fritter it away?  Do I work 12 hours a day?  Am I involved in activities I enjoy?  Do I spend quality time with the people I care about?  Do I make time for prayer and spend time with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit?

No one else needs to know the answers to these questions.   However, our answers to these questions may give us some insight into our lives.   In our busy and distracting world, it is easy to get off-track.   Today Jesus is inviting us to come away and spend time with Him.   What a wonderful invitation!  Today will we accept His invitation or will we ignore it because we are too busy?

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