HIS WORDâ€¦MARTHA, MARTHA, YOU ARE ANXIOUS AND WORRIED ABOUT MANY THINGS. THERE IS A NEED OF ONLY ONE THING. MARY HAS CHOSEN THE BETTER PART AND IT WILL NOT BE TAKEN FROM HER.
my wordsâ€¦This Sundaywe hear the domestic show of hospitality by Martha and Mary to the visiting Friend Jesus. Figuratively in domestic chores, to be busy with material things is to occupy or cover the whole house; while to study and pray would require only a portion or a fraction of it. And this is what happened to Martha and Mary in the gospel story. Martha moved around to prepare; Mary just stayed in one place to listen… and the latter is the â€œbetter partâ€ according to the judgment of Jesus, and â€œit will not be taken away from herâ€ (Lk 10:42). And their respective acts of hospitality are what we call as material hospitality and spiritual hospitality.
Was Martha jealous and envious over her sister Mary? In the culture of their time, Martha has reasons to be disturbed: first, Mary left her all alone for the serving which is the basic role of women in domestic hospitality; second, women were not supposed to be with men in formal decorum like lectures and teachings for they were incapable of learning; and third, it was not appropriate for a woman to be alone with a man in the sala and much more in public places.
Brothers and Sisters, Martha and Mary are personifications ofstates of life that are made more manifest in the religious congregations. Martha represents the â€œactive lifeâ€ while Mary the â€contemplative lifeâ€. The former is to involve in the active activities of the world like running schools, institutions or involving in the NGOs, while the latter is to be absorbed immensely in prayer and utter silence 24/7. The classic examples that can be cited for these states of life are the Holy Spirit Sisters: the â€œblue sistersâ€ are the ones involved in active life in the external world, while the â€œpink sistersâ€ are the ones in the life of intense prayer and contemplation. Active service and contemplative listening are two complementary elements of our Christian discipleship (Fr. Gil A. Alinsangan, SSP. The SambuhayMissalette, July 2016).
And this is also true to us baptized and confirmed Christians; we are called to be â€œMarthasâ€ and â€œMarysâ€ in life; our life of service and our life of prayer and contemplation. These are also being visualized in the two basic gestures of life; â€œstand up and walkâ€ = to serve, and â€œkneel downâ€ = to pray. In the parish structure, this is the parish church for communal service, and the adoration chapel for individual communing with our God. Martha and Mary showed them as values of life; namely, hospitality and spirituality. Both are good aspects of life, but for Jesus, the latter is always the â€œbetter partâ€ of it.
Brothers and Sisters, good spirituality is always the â€œbetter partâ€ of us because this is our relationship with Jesus, our connectedness to God. Let us enhance our prayer life so that God will always be in us 24/7. Hence, in everything that we do and to everywhere that we go; let us always begin and end in prayer. For after all, everything belongs to God; we all belong to HIM…
LET US BE GENEROUS â€œSERVERSâ€ and â€œPRAYERSâ€ â€¦and GOD WILL BLESS US FOREVER… Â (ByÂ Fr. Julius C. Lupot)