Gospel Thoughts 18 July 2010

July 15, 2010 at 09:18 Leave a comment


In today’s Gospel Story about Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-420) Jesus says to Martha, “You are anxious and worried about many things”. These same words probably describe most of us. We are anxious and worried what might happen in the future, what has already happened in the past, how things are going now, about health, finances, relationships, war, the oil spill, the economy, etc. Our list of worries is long. Jesus goes on to say, “There is need of only one thing, Mary has chosen the better part”. Mary is listening to Jesus. This seems simplistic and unreal – until we try it, without telling him what we want to hear.

What we do in our everyday life is important. Jesus is in no way an excuse for avoiding involvement in the issues of everyday life. What spending time with him does is lead us to the realization that in no sense are we ever alone. He does not offer us a magic solution for all that we see as wrong, but an invitation to work along with him to move along with him in a relationship that moves us towards wholeness. He is our partner, not our agent.

We are anxious when we fear losing power of some kind. For many of us the power we fear losing is the control we think we have over our life. We pay a lot of attention to what has happened and what might happen, and so are not fully in touch with what is happening. We are busy protecting ourselves and our interests.

There is always the danger of thinking our lives are all about us, and that everything revolves around us as we make ourselves the center of our universe. What Mary seems to be learning at the feet of Jesus is that there is more to life than us and what we have to do. Our life is not just about us and our comfort and security, but is our involvement in a relationship with Jesus that draws us in his name to be with others and to love them as he does. The only place we can learn this is at his feet. It is not a logical conclusion or the result of a process of thought. It is an experience that opens us to a new and exciting richness of everyday life that goes beyond our own comfort and security. We come to a sense of being involved with Someone who loves us and moves us to share his love with others whom we would never of ourselves choose and in ways we would never of ourselves imagine. There is a joy in all this that borders on the unexplainable.

This involvement with Jesus draws us to more involvement with life and people and moves us towards laying aside our restrictions which would protect our comfort. We learn to trust and to let go, and often this learning is not easy. From time to time as our circumstances change, we have to learn yet again as old habits begin to surface. With our consent and hard work, grace again moves us beyond our comfort and security into a deepening relationship of trust.

There is no substitute for sitting at Jesus’ feet. How we do this in our everyday life is pretty much up to us, but we have to do it. Otherwise we fall back into old habits and begin to center on ourselves, and our world becomes smaller.

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Entry filed under: Catholic, Gospel thoughts, Priest.

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