"Part of the problem, Mitch, is that everyone is in such a hurry," Morrie said. "People haven't found meaning in their lives, so they're running all the time looking for it. They think they'll find it in the next car, the next house, the next job. Then they find those things are empty, too, and they keep running." Yet, in order for people to find meaning in their lives, they should stop running and turn to God in solitude, silence, and prayer. Then they would find what they are looking for. (An Excerpt from Tuesdays with Morrie).
Today's selection from Luke's Gospel portrays vivid characters with the most excellent economy of words.
We see the clash of temperaments. Some people are naturally active, and others are naturally quiet. It is hard for the active person to understand the person who sits and contemplates. A person who prefers quiet times and meditation may look down on someone who prefers activity. There is no right or wrong here. God did not make everyone alike. One may make himself a saint by praying, and the other by cooking and cleaning. Another person may busy herself with the material welfare of the people, while still another sits with folded hands and a quiet mind in contemplation and prayer. Both serve God. God needs both his Marthas and his Marys.
Martha was eager to lay out the best the house could offer when Jesus came to Bethany. However, her rushing, fussing, and cooking were precisely what Jesus did not want. He just wanted quiet. Mary provided it for him. There is only one thing we need; one course, the simplest meal is all we need. It was simply that Mary understood, and Martha didn't.
Jesus is challenging Martha to transcend the ordinary activities of a woman and get involved in higher activities like sitting for some time in silence and solitude, meditating on the word of God, and pondering over it. Jesus challenges us to raise our sights to things based on higher values.
Jesus was a carpenter, but he closed his carpenter shop forever to adopt a new identity, that of an itinerant preacher, a healer, and a liberator of the oppressed. Jesus asked the disciples to leave their boats and nets on the shore, be apostles, and become fishers of men. St Francis of Assisi, whom we celebrate on October 4th, was torn between a life devoted entirely to prayer and a life of active preaching of the Good News later in his life. He decided in favor of the former but always returned to active preaching when he could.
Jesus appreciated Martha's work but said Mary had chosen the better part. Mary had found true meaning. Are we ready to find true meaning by transcending the material and ordinary activities, setting our sights on the better part, our relationship with God?
To view Rosary prayer and Mass streaming live, please visit our Facebook pageat 11:30 am EDT, Monday – Friday. Please invite your loved ones to join us too! (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)
About Father Boby John, C.S.C.
Father Boby John, C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2008, worked as a pastor and as an educator with tribal populations in Northeast India for thirteen years. Originally from Kerala, India, Father Boby grew up with three siblings. He is a dedicated and detailed educationist with experience in educational leadership. He is currently working as an executive assistant at the world headquarters of Holy Cross Family Ministries, North Easton, Massachusetts.