Gospel Reflection for the 16th Sunday Ordinary Time Year C – July 21st 2013
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on our parish website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
Jesus came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking. Now Martha who was distracted with all the serving said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered: ‘Martha, Martha,’ he said ‘you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.’
Luke 10: 38-42
Jesus’ visit to Martha’ house didn’t go well and there was a bit of a tiff between the sisters.
Martha one of the sisters is upset and sulking as nobody helped her with getting a meal for Jesus. Mary has got into the listening mode, and is sitting at the feet….the posture of a disciple, allowing the other do the work. .
A strange story. It’s about listening. The first thing a disciple should do. Action comes later.
Such a big thing. Human listening and listening to God. We need a listening ear often in life and in difficult times an ounce of listening worth a ton of exhortation! When bad things happen we want to be heard. People who have been abused want to be heard and in being heard you know your experience matters. When we are young we need hours of listening. Often the better part in a relationship for some time is to listen. Behind the words, to the words not spoken.to the mood and the words.
Two types of food were on offer on this afternoon visit of friends…the food of Martha and the food of Jesus’ word. We need time to hear the word of God. It is a principal way to keep our faith strong.
Valuing the word of God every day will bring our faith into action. And our service of God will make more sense of scripture.
The visit of Jesus went right when the right food was put on the table at the right time, and that food was the word of God. Other food might come later.
Mary’s faith grew as she listened, and this would show itself later in action. Maybe Martha’s activity would bring her to hear the world of God in a new way?
Lord, help me to listen well to your word, and to cries for help from any of your people.
Donal Neary SJ