Reflection on Gospel Passage of Martha and Mary

Listening to Word of God Is the Most Important Thing in Our Lives, Says Pope

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, JULY 18, 2004 ( Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave today before praying the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in the courtyard of the apostolic palace of Castel Gandolfo.

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1. I returned yesterday from my brief stay in Valle d’Aosta and, today, the Angelus meeting gives me immediately the opportunity to greet all of you here present.

This Sunday, the liturgy proposes again for our meditation the evangelical episode of Jesus’ stay in the home of Martha and Mary (see Luke 10:38-42). While Martha is taken up with domestic affairs, Mary is seated at the feet of the Master and listens to his word. Christ affirms that Mary “has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her” (Luke 10:42). To listen to the Word of God is the most important thing in our lives.

2. Christ is always in our midst and wants to speak to our hearts. We can listen to him by meditating with faith on sacred Scripture, recollecting ourselves in private and communal prayer, pausing in silence before the tabernacle, from which he speaks to us of his love.

Especially on Sunday, Christians are called to encounter and listen to the Lord. This occurs in the fullest way by participating in holy Mass, in which Christ prepares for the faithful the table of the Word and Bread of life. But other moments of prayer and reflection, of rest and fraternity, can usefully contribute to sanctify the day of the Lord.

3. When, by the action of the Holy Spirit, God takes up his dwelling in the heart of the believer, it becomes easier to serve brothers. This is how it happened in a singular and perfect way in Mary Most Holy. To her we entrust this vacation period, so that it will be appreciated as a propitious time to rediscover the primacy of the interior life.

[Translation by ZENIT]

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