Saturday, July 17, 2010

MARTHA VS MARY – 16TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – JULY 18TH (Lk 10: 38-42)


I cannot choose; I should have liked so much
To sit at Jesus’ feet, - to feel the touch
Of His kind, gentle hand upon my head
While drinking in the gracious words He said

Worship or service – which? Ah, that is best
To which He calls us, be it toil or rest
To labour for Him in life’s busy stir
Or seek His feet, a silent worshipper

Caroline A. Mason

1. Two temperaments: There are some natures which are essentially passive whose power is in their receptivity and whose chief ministry is in their presence. Their lives pronounce benedictions just as the activities of other confer benefactions.

2. Mary had done all that she thought necessary for comfort and decency; and she valued her Guest enough to desire to get something out of His visit than mere pleasure of seeing Him eat or the gratification of having Him praise her viands.

3. The contrast drawn here is not between two types of character, one of which is held to be inferior to the other. Jesus would not want all his Marthas to become Marys and all His Marys, Marthas. The only thing to keep in mind is Christ should be first everywhere

4. Doing and Being: Neither sister could fill the other’s place. Martha would have made a most fidgeting Mary and Mary a most unconcerned Martha. The one was a perfect head of the house and the other was the heart of the home. It is easier to do than to be. We have a strong an impulse towards doing and we take pleasure in doing almost by a necessity of our nature. The life of being is higher than the life of doing.

5. First things first: Union with God is the only thing needful for eternal happiness and unless that union is attained already here, we do not have surety that we will attain it life after.

When giving a gift to our beloved it is not the cost of the gift that matters but that of the expression of love. The costlier gift which is given without real concern may have a high market value but not the real value. Martha wants to make Jesus feel at home but she failed to perceive the real need of the guest. This guest does not come to feast but to share his unconditional love. Mary was quite prudent in discerning what was the best and Jesus appreciates her choice. A lot of interpretations can be given between contemplation and action but it is always good to have a balance without shutting one aspect completely.

Courtesy
Great texts of the Bible
Sacra pagina Series
The Preacher’s Outline and sermon Bible

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