The highest priority must be given to listening to the word. Prayer and actions must be continuous, complementary, and mutually dependent. Prayer without action is sterile, and action without prayer is empty.
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That is why Jesus reminds Martha that proper service for him is attention to his instruction, not just an elaborate provision for his physical needs. Mary shows her love for the Lord by listening to him. Jesus in fact, needed Mary and Martha to keep him company and to listen to him because he was preparing to face the cross. At every Mass, we are offered the very hospitality of Jesus at the table of the Eucharist to become both Mary and Martha. Both Mary and Martha are teaching would-be disciples that their following of Jesus and their service in his name will require frequent spiritual refueling by prayer, silence and communion with God.
Otherwise, service can become a crushing responsibility, a burden rather than a vocation, or a loving response to the invitation of God in connection with Fr. Tony Kadavil. It is not for nothing that he placed Mary at the feet of Jesus receiving his teaching; a posture of a disciple reserved only to men in his time.
It is an affirmation that Christian discipleship is not sex-oriented. The likes of Mary are also called to sit at the feet of Jesus and to serve him like Martha. No wonder Luke deviated the attention of his audience from Lazarus the man of the house sign of the diversity of discipleship and concentrated on his sisters. For our services to be meaningful and fruitful, we must always recharge our spiritual battery at the feet of Jesus. When our spiritual battery is weak, then our service will gradually become one of self gratification Martha feeling that she was doing all.
We must move from the feet of Jesus to service and then back to the feet of Jesus. God must take priority in our lives, if not our service becomes purely humanitarian lacking a divine dimension. You visit them even when they least expect it in order to bring them comfort. Help us to recognize you in the heart of our homes today. May we never lose sight of you present in the faces of wearied strangers. Above all, may our choices in life start from you and end in you, for without you we can do nothing good. You who live and reign forever and ever.
Thanks Fr. Very good homily Father Lawrence! I never thought about Martha and Mary from this practical point of view before. Thank you for spiritual inspiration. My sister suffering from depression. Remember her in prayers. Thanks so much, Fr. I am always looking forward for your Sunday reflection. I have so much to ponder about. But what touched me most is what you said about establishing a good relationship with God before serving others. God bless you.
Thanks Father Lawrence for this inspiring insight into the word today.. Thank you Father Obilor. They are so insightful and learned. We appreciate the time you take to apply your teachings to our daily lives. Many thanks for the reflection. I have read this Gospel many times however your words and explanations today have given me a new perspective…and a very good one.
We are blessed to have you contribute to our Catholic Moment. Yes Father, thank you for the time you take to prepare the commentary. I always thought I was the only Martha out there. Thank you for the spiritual insight so I hopefully become a Mary-Martha.
21 July (C) Sixteenth Sunday of Year (c). | Sunday Scripture Online
I am a Reg. Social Worker in the Philippines Retired. I joined a charismatic community, Women For Christ in for spirituality in my service. This gospel of Luke is one which I usually chose in Bible sharing, usually the Lumko steps with mothers in my empowering program. They provide what are necessary for spirituality and service. I look forward to reading more.
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Thank you. Thanks Father for the beautiful reflection. I have learnt a lot from the perspective of Martha and Mary and need to make adjustments. Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Reflections on the Daily Readings
In the preaching of Jesus — continued down to our day in the preaching of the Church — we are all invited to the banquet. It only becomes effective in the context of true conversion of heart. Pentecost Sunday Year C, 9 June Their Shepherd is strong with the strength of God. This identity is for all generations, right down to ourselves. Interested in more? Sign up to our weekly Catholic Teacher and Parish Life e-newsletters for the faith formation resources you need. You can change your cookies settings at any time and find out more about them by following this link.
Login Register. Homily notes: 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C, 15 September 04 September The parables of the lost cohere around a central theme: the character of God in the face of human moral failure. Homily notes: 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C, 1 September 21 August Fr Brendan Byrne SJ The liturgy is the place where we celebrate the actuality of what we believe, where we draw encouragement and hope for the journey that still lies ahead.
Scripture reflections: Strong is his love for us! Homily notes: 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C, 4 August 24 July Fr Brendan Byrne SJ The common theme across the three readings this week is ususally translated to meen avarice or greed, both of which are accurate enough but do not fully catch the nuance of the original Greek. Homily notes: 2nd Sunday of Easter Year C, 28 April 17 April Fr Brendan Byrne SJ As the Father sent Jesus into the world so he now sends the disciples, to be in their turn and through their mutual love for one another, the embodiment of that same divine love.