Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Reflection: Luke 10:38-42

Tuesday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time - Luke 10:38-42

Today we have the familiar story of Martha and Mary.  As we know, Martha was the workaholic and Mary was the contemplative.  When Jesus came to the town where Mary and Martha lived, he went to their home.  Martha welcomed him and then immediately went to the kitchen to prepare a delicious meal for him.  Most likely Jesus had not had a home-cooked meal in quite a while.
Mary, however, sat down at Jesus’ feet.  She talked with him and listened attentively to him.  Over time, Martha began to get angry.  She was doing all the work!  In Martha’s mind, the least Mary could do was ask her if she needed some help.  However, Mary did not do so.  Martha was upset and angry.  Here she was slaving away at the stove while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet.

Finally Martha’s anger escalated to the point where she had to express it.  She said to Jesus: “Lord, do you not care that Mary has left me to do all the work?  Tell her to help me!”  However, Jesus does not respond to Martha as she anticipated.  Jesus gently scolded Martha for being so anxious and worried.  He then tells Martha: “There is need of only one thing.  Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

Now put yourself in Martha’s shoes.  How do you think you would respond to this seeming reprimand?  Would you react as Martha did (at least initially)?  Or would you pause and reflect on Jesus’ statement and your reaction to his statement?  Or would you think to ourselves: am I jealous of Mary’s relationship with Jesus?  Or are my priorities out of order?’
Today Jesus is asking each of us: What takes priority in my life?  One way to answer this question might be to ask ourselves: How do I use my time?  Do I fritter it away?  Do I work 12 hours a day?  Do I spend quality time with the people I care about?  Do I make time for prayer?  Do I spend time with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit?

No one else needs to know the answers to these questions.  However, your answers to these questions may give you some insight into your life.  In our busy and distracting world, it is very easy to get off-track.  Today Jesus is inviting us to come away and spend time with him.  What a wonderful invitation!  Will we accept this invitation?  Or will we ignore it?

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