FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
27th Tuesday of Ordinary Time
October 8, 2019
WORD of the DAY
As they continued their journey he 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.” (Luke 10: 38-42)
How shall I live this Word?
We are faced with two ways of welcoming: one anchored to ‘doing’ all the ‘things’ that are required when someone is invited; the other to ‘encounter’ the invited person.
These are two ways that question us about how we welcome, how we relate to Jesus and live as His disciples. We do not consider these two attitudes as opposed to each other, because opposing them presupposes calling the other ‘to do’ what I consider important. Martha and Mary do not oppose each other: they are sisters, who remind us of what they have in common and face in a different way.
Jesus will ask Martha to turn into Mary a little at a time, to face what she must do in Mary’s ‘style’. Jesus reminds us that to accept inwardly means to listen to Him, to recognize Him as the one who first approaches, (“He entered a village”, Lk 10:38), takes the initiative, welcomes, loves, transforms, converts. We must let Him do it. This will allow Mary to live in the correct way, open to the gift, perceiving that everything comes from Him. Mary becomes capable of silence, an expression of the denial of her own “anxious and worried about many things” (Lk.10:41). She can thus ‘do’, not starting from herself, but from the One before her. She can welcome because she feels welcomed by the One who first welcomed and loved her.
Lord, help me to remain with You, to listen to You, and to let myself be loved by You before going to my sisters and brothers. Amen!
The Voice of Pope Francis, Meditation at St. Martha’s 7/17/19
In her hurry and work, Marta is in danger of forgetting – and this is the problem – the most important thing, namely, the presence of the guest, who was Jesus in this case. She forgets the presence of the guest. And the guest should not simply be served, fed, cared for in every way. Above all, He must be listened to. Remember this word well: listen.
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