Service in the Lord

Reflection for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time by FAN Communications Coordinator, Janine Walsh

This reflection was originally posted in our July 11th newsletter

Service in the LordA lot of times in life, serving is not necessarily fun. To serve can be a lot of work. There is most often anxiety about the quality and timing of a meal, because we want our guests to be happy. Why do we serve? Often it’s because we have to. We don’t have the money to hire someone else to serve us, yet still we need to eat and feed our families. Whom do we serve? The answer to that may vary.  First, we serve those whom we love. Perhaps we volunteer to serve hungry, homeless people.

In this week’s readings, we see both Abraham and Martha fussing over guests. Understandably, they want to make a good impression. Together, Abraham and his wife, Sarah served and were rewarded with news they had long been waiting for. In the gospel, Martha feels so overworked, she is compelled to complain to Jesus about her sister, “Tell her to help me.” Yet Jesus gently rebukes Martha, saying “There is need of only one thing.” Mary chose to sit, listen to her Lord and not fuss over how perfect the house looked or setting out the meal. Martha served and was reproached and told she was missing the point. So, what is the message here about serving?

Last year, my mother slipped on black ice, fell and shattered her ankle. I remember it distinctly as it happened during the second week of Lent. I had signed up to attend a weekly retreat through my parish, once a week for an hour or so, the group met to discuss a book we were reading for Lent. For several valid reasons, it fell to me a lot of the time to care for her after her accident as the rest of my family were far away. I became quite busy running back and forth to her house and so I had to let go of some commitments and the retreat was the easiest burden to lift. I made a conscious decision to serve my mother as my Lenten sacrifice instead.

My mother commented at one point, thanking me, telling me how grateful she was and that I really didn’t have to do all this. I responded honestly, saying, “Mom, I want to do this for you because I want to show my daughters what service in the Lord looks like. Because when I’m your age and I fall and break my ankle, I want them to be there for me.”

As this week’s Gospel shows, we must listen and understand the Word of God in order to act on it. For this reason, my husband and I put a lot of time and effort into our family’s faith life. We consider it every bit as important as other commitments, like soccer, dance or rehearsal for the play. If we don’t make time to listen to God, we will never serve with an open heart.

Janine Walsh
FAN Communications Coordinator

Published in: on July 12, 2016 at 9:24 am  Leave a Comment  

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