Daily Homily: Mary Has Chosen the Better Part

Tuesday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time, Year Two

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

Galatians 1:13-24
Psalm 139:1b-3,13-14ab,14c-15
Luke 10:38-42

The story of Martha and Mary always invites us to reflect on our daily lives and examine our life of service and our life of prayer.

On the outside, it looks like Martha is doing the right thing. Her house is filled with guests, and someone has to prepare the meals, clean the house, keep everything in order. But the Gospel tells us that inside Martha is anxious and worried and burdened by much serving.

The ideal we seek is service in love. Instead of being anxious, we should strive for joyful service, instead of being worried, we should strive to please both God and our brothers and sisters. If we do our best and are attentive to the needs of others, there is no reason to be anxious and worried. Serving others shouldn’t be a burden, because what we do for others, we do for Jesus Christ. This doesn’t mean that we won’t be tired, exhausted, or have to solve problems as they arise. It means rather that we will carry our burden with Christ and for Christ. It means that we will be aided by the fortitude of the Holy Spirit.

We shouldn’t think of Martha and Mary, service and prayer, as being in competition in our lives. I think the ideal is in unity of life, where work can be prayer and prayerful work apostolate. As Saint Paul says: «carry one another’s burdens, and thus you will fulfill the law of Christ» (Galatians 6:2). Both prayer and work are sustained by love.

In his Letter to the Galatians, Saint Paul tells us about how Christ has acted in his life, and how he went from persecuting the Church of God to preaching the Faith he once tried to destroy. Paul encountered the Risen Christ and this encounter transformed him, his way of thinking, his entire life. «The dazzling radiance of the Risen Christ blinds him; thus what was his inner reality is also outwardly apparent, his blindness to the truth, to the light that is Christ. And then his definitive ‘yes’ to Christ in Baptism restores his sight and makes him really see» (Pope Benedict XVI, 3 September 2008).

Mary encountered Jesus by placing herself at the feet of Jesus and listened to the words of her Master. Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus and obeyed the words of his Lord. Mary sought to live according to Jesus’ teaching; Paul was called to be an Apostle to the nations. Mary and Martha learned how to live in communion and in harmony. As well, Paul learned that he had to enter into communion with the Church, he had to be baptized and live in harmony with the other Apostles. «Only in such communion with everyone could he have been a true apostle»  (Pope Benedict XVI, 3 September 2008).

Our encounter with Jesus is an event that transforms us. Some of us are like Martha, busy with and burdened by much serving. In this case we need to hear the invitation of Christ to listen to his words and make sure that our work is fruit of prayer and love. Some of us are like Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus, but very soon we need to stand up and live the Gospel we have heard and contemplated. Some of us are like Paul, head-strong and passionate, but we need to be transformed by Jesus Christ, enter into deeper communion with others and with the Church, and be led by the Holy Spirit.

Fr. Mitchell’s daily homilies will return Oct. 16.

Readers may contact Fr Jason Mitchell at mitchelljason2011@gmail.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

Jason Mitchell

Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation