The central themes of today’s readings are the importance of hospitality in Christian life and the necessity of listening to God before acting. The key to the Christian life is setting priorities: Jesus Christ first, then everything else. The only way really to learn that lesson is to spend some time every day, “sitting at the feet of Jesus.”
Scripture lessons: Today’s first reading describes how Abraham and Sarah’s hospitality to angels in the guise of strangers was rewarded by God, who blessed them with a son in their old age. The refrain for today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 15) He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord, reminds us of our intended final destination. In the second reading, Paul declares that he was commissioned by God to minister to the Church, as the revealer of the mystery of salvation and the preacher of the word in its fullness (v. 25). He invites believers to open their hearts and minds and to show their hospitality to the mystery of Christ which he preaches. Paul also challenges us to cultivate that quality of hospitality which welcomes all others in Christ.
Today’s Gospel passage describes how Martha, a genuine child of Abraham, wanted to extend the traditional generous hospitality of her people to Jesus, the true Messiah, by preparing an elaborate meal for him (while her sister Mary spent her time in talking to Jesus and listening to him; It invites us to serve others with Martha’s diligence after recharging our spiritual batteries every day by prayer – listening to God and talking to God – as Mary did. We can minister truly to the needs of others only after welcoming God’s Word into in our hearts and minds.
1. We need to recharge our spiritual batteries: We should put aside the work we do for the Lord in serving others and just spend some time being with Him, talking to Him and listening to Him, fully aware of His holy presence in our souls. We may also recharge our spiritual energy by means of our personal and family prayers, our meditative reading of the Bible and our participation in the celebration of the Holy Mass.
2. We need listening Martha’s and serving Mary’s: Martha has become a symbol of action-oriented, responsible people who get the job done. Our world and our parish churches need such dynamic and generous men, women, boys and girls. We need them to sing in the choir, to help in the Church, to teach in the Sunday school, to visit the sick and the shut-ins and to serve in all other ministries of the parish community.
3. We need to be good listeners, like Mary, at home and in the workplace. Active and busy as we are, we must find time every day to listen to God, to our spouse, kids, and neighbors. Listening and quiet caring are essential for the success of married life, of family life and of the rearing of children with love, affection, and a gentle, firm discipline. Human love begins at home, and it begins with listening