Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
A feast dedicated for the first time to all the members of the family, Mary, Martha and Lazarus. For me, as the parish priest of Saint Lazarus, I am happy, because I longing this feast. Even if Lazarus and the Lord's disciples are absent in this narration, one can easily imagine that they are already there, by their discretion.
The Lord did not choose Mary as the best, He simply recognised that Mary chose who was better for Mary, as Martha chose who was better for Martha. He simply wanted to put them in order and prioritise. Yet we must recognise that Christian action must be born of a divine encounter, according to His will. The Lord worns us through Martha that an act that is disconnected from the divine will only serves our arrogance and pride.
The Lord needs Lazarus and his disciples, many of whom are represented today's contemporary world by charities, who work day and night for peace, reconciliation and justice.Like Lazarus, they will bear witness through their lives of service and be fully contemplative, like Mary, active like Martha, who put into action all that Mary heard from the Lord. Today the Lord invites us to work together, for we must never forget that the Lord sent his disciples on mission two by two.
Action of the day: Learn to work together.
«You are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing»
Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench
(Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, we must also listen to our Lord —even if we are busy by so many things— reminding us that “there is need of only one thing” (Lk 10:42): love and saintliness. They should be our aim, the horizon we must never lose sight of amidst our daily chores.
Because we shall be “busy” if we follow our Creator’s plan: “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen 1:28). The earth! The world! This is our meeting point with the Lord. “I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one” (Jn 17:15). Yes, the world is an “altar” for us and for our offerings to God and to others.
We belong in this world, but that does not mean we have to be worldly. On the contrary, we are called to become —in a beautiful expression of Saint John Paul II— “Priests of Creation!” “priests” of our world, of a world we passionately love.
Here is the question: world and saintliness; our daily chores and the one and only thing we truly need. They are not opposed realities, and we have to try to make both coincide. And this coincidence must be carried out in our own heart, where heaven and earth can be reunited. Because within the human heart is where the dialogue between Creator and creature takes place.
Therefore, prayer is necessary. “Ours is a time of continual movement which often leads to restlessness, with the risk of "doing for the sake of doing". We must resist this temptation by trying "to be" before trying "to do". In this regard we should recall how Jesus reproved Martha: "You are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing" (Lk 10:41-42).” (Saint John Paul II).
There is no opposition between “to be” and “to do”, but there is indeed a priority order of precedence: “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her” (Lk 10:42).