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The good news for the day July 17

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (108)

Jesus entered a community where a woman, Martha, welcomed him into her home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat next to the Teacher—at his feet –listening to him. Feeling overwhelmed with the needs of hospitality, Martha came to Jesus: “Sir, don’t you care that my sister has left me by myself to do all the serving? Tell her to help me.” The Teacher responded, “Martha, Martha, you are concerned and upset about many things. There is need of just one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10)

Jesus is not condemning hospitality, housewifery, or any kind of hospitality. He is offering you a moment to see not a contrast at all between prayer and being a good hostess—as if you have to choose one or the other. He is talking about choice—but it is not an either-or, as it appears to be. It is about two levels—are you attending to the guest—or being “correct”?

The “one thing,” or “the better part.” is your commitment to grow and change, to become repentant, kind, humble, and poor in spirit. That is the one thing—which can manifest itself in your quiet prayer, or your making supper. If you “love the LORD,” and love your neighbor, the choice is to do right now whatever is right in the presence of the LORD

Martha complained—the complaint suggesting she is doing not the loving thing—but the “socially correct thing,“—“this generation” behavior that has nothing to do with love, service and grace. She is asking Jesus to tell Mary to act more in conformity with custom—to be the “housewife.” Martha seems to be acting out the part of the Good Hostess—why isn’t her sister behaving in conformity to the requirements of society?

God calls you to wake up, be alert–to serve or to pray as a situation calls for it. Your response to others here, now, is what counts. God talks to you by what is in front of you—not by “correct” rules of society. You welcome angels all the time. Seeing them as they are is what is important.

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