I Choose Both

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

This reflection was originally posted in our July 15th newsletter


This week’s Gospel is the familiar story of Mary and Martha. Several lessons can be derived from this modest story. It starts out simply, “Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.” (LK 10:38) My practical self yearns for more detail. How did this welcome happen? Did Martha happen to see Jesus and his disciples walking along and call out to Him? Would I ever have the courage to do such a thing?

The story continues with Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to him speak, while Martha works hard as the hostess, making sure all her guests are comfortable. I imagine she recognizes the significance of this band of men and wants to impress them, offering fine food and drink. If I were in this situation, my own mind would have a constant nagging worry, wondering if they are (as the kids say today) judging me for any number of things: the cleanliness of the house, the quality of the food, the comfort of the chairs, etc.

Having hosted dinner parties in my past, I understand Martha wanting a bit of help from her sister. Putting together a satisfying meal for 15 is certainly much easier with assistance. However, when she approaches Jesus about it, he gently offers her the path to peace: “There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” (LK 10:42)

One lesson I take away from this story is that all we need is Jesus. The state of our house, the quality of our food, all our possessions…these things don’t matter. In my day-to-day life, if I listen to Jesus like Mary, and be grateful for what I have, that is all I need. However, I also feel that in society today, we must take the words of Jesus and turn them into action, like Martha. I am conscious of the promise of the psalmist, we “who [do] justice will live in the presence of the Lord.” For me, I choose to do both.

Janine Walsh
FAN Communications Coordinator

Published in: on July 16, 2019 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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