READINGS for 2007-07-22
MARTHA OR MARY?
“Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” – Luke 10:42
Lola Cianing, my maternal grandmother is 97 years old. She’s been bedridden for the past two years. When we couldn’t get a caregiver I volunteered to care for her since I worked from home. Caring for my grandmother was not easy. I didn’t realize I had to do everything for her – give her a sponge bath, change her diapers, put on clean clothes, feed and give her water every three hours, lull her to sleep and others. Each day I’d do this but at the end, I’d become a “Martha” and complained incessantly about how tired I was, how no one else helped me, how unfair it was to be burdened by this responsibility when I had an aunt who is a nurse in the first place. But guess what? I’d still go through the same grueling task the next day, and the next.What kept me going was my “Mary” moments with Lola. Early in the morning, I would lead Lola in praying the Morning Offering and read the day’s gospel for her. I treasure those times when she would be lucid enough to make the sign of the cross, echo the prayers after me and say “Amen” as we end our time of prayer. Lola and I find comfort in knowing that even for just those 10 minutes each day, we have “chosen the better part”. Dina P.
Are you a Martha or a Mary?
Lord, you love both the Martha and Mary in me .Give me the grace to always choose You in the midst of my busyness and the stillness of my silence.
Many years ago, God promised Abraham that he would have a son. Abraham is still waiting. Along comes a visitor, who after a little kindness has been shown him, reiterates this promise to Abraham. I wonder what Abraham thinks of all of this? I wonder how often and how strongly he was tempted to doubt as it seemingly became more and more less likely that the promise could be fulfilled given that Sarah was getting too old to bear a child? Herein lies the essence of faith – it is not up to our power, but the power of God to fulfill the promises of faith and in this regard we have no need to worry as God is all-powerful.
1 The LORD appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre, as he sat in the entrance of his tent, while the day was growing hot. 2 Looking up, he saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them; and bowing to the ground, 3 he said: “Sir, if I may ask you this favor, please do not go on past your servant. 4 Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet, and then rest yourselves under the tree. 5 Now that you have come this close to your servant, let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves; and afterward you may go on your way.” “Very well,” they replied, “do as you have said.”6 Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah, “Quick, three seahs of fine flour! Knead it and make rolls.” 7 He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer, and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it. 8 Then he got some curds and milk, as well as the steer that had been prepared, and set these before them; and he waited on them under the tree while they ate. 9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him. “There in the tent,” he replied. 10 One of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have a son.”
P S A L M
Psalm 15:2-3, 3-4, 5
R: He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
2 One who walks blamelessly and does justice; who thinks the truth in his heart 3 and slanders not with his tongue. (R) Who harms not his fellow man, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; 4 by whom the reprobate is despised, while he honors those who fear the LORD. (R) 5 Who lends not his money at usury and accepts no bribe against the innocent. One who does these things shall never be disturbed. (R)
We, the Christian Community, contain a priceless treasure in the form of the presence of Christ in our midst. It is to this truth and promise that we must cling when times are difficult and it seems that God is far from us. He is always close to us as He dwells in our hearts and in our midst. Let us reject any temptation to believe otherwise than this and move forward with our lives secure in the belief that God is present to us leading us on the path to eternal life.
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church, 25 of which I am a minister in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God, 26 the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past. But now it has been manifested to his holy ones, 27 to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory. 28 It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.
G O S P E L
One of the traps I have discovered in exercising the ministry of priesthood is that I can easily become too focused upon structures and results rather than people themselves. It is something that is still growing within me that I am able to more comfortably sit with a person in need even if I know there are other pressing things to do. People must come first, before any structures or desires, if we seek to truly develop the heart of God for His people. We must remain responsible for our appointments within the framework of a ministry centered upon the needs of others.
38 As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. 39 She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. 40 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.” 41 The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. 42 There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
think: He is always close to us as He dwells in our hearts and in our midst.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Isaiah 29-30
My weekly time with God
THANK YOU LIST
Things to be grateful for from the past week
Things to ask God for in the coming week
Most important word God told me this week
WHAT IF JESUS VISITED US AT HOME TODAY?
Two sisters whose names both begin with the letter M, two women who were each respectively “punished” (as it were) and praised — such were Martha and Mary of today’s Gospel. The extraordinary grace of Jesus visiting their home (how we value so much for instance when members of the clergy grace our houses) can perhaps be an object of our imagination now when we consider the title–question of this reflection.
It might be only hypothetical, but indeed, if Jesus were to visit our home today — what would we do to welcome Him and make Him feel at home?
Whatever our answer to that question may be, it shouldn’t even be much of an effort (given especially our characteristic Filipino hospitality). But on second thought — considering the stature of the Divine Guest, we can still ask, “Would Jesus really be happy and pleased with whatever expressions of hospitality we might extend to Him?”
Maybe, much of what we do to please our guests and make them feel at home are often based on our own perspectives. Shouldn’t we mainly consider instead what our guests themselves would rather have, instead of what we think (insistently, but erroneously) would be good for them?
In the case of Jesus in our Gospel today, well — perhaps He wasn’t really after getting a free lunch at the home of Martha and Mary. Perhaps He just wants to relax with friends, spend time in telling stories with them, while away the time in simple but fruitful conversation.
Makes us ponder a bit in today’s world of “24/7” texting and television, in today’s fast-lane skyways and yet heavy-traffic avenues. What if Jesus were indeed to drop by our lives right now? Would He find us frantic, dissipated, and panicky? Worse still, would He find us not at home at all, up and about instead here and there, busy and tied up with so many useless pursuits? We simply wish to say, Tuloy po kayo, Lord Jesus! Fr. Martin M.
REFLECTION QUESTION: Can we confidently say, Tuloy Po, Jesus, if He came today?
May I never be caught unprepared, Lord.
Sts. Philip Evans & John Lloyd, martyrs, pray for us.
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