Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 20/21, 2019
In today’s Gospel reading from St. Luke, we receive a reminder about the proper use of the gift of time, a fundamental aspect of a stewardship way of life. Our passage highlights one of the most famous dinner parties ever thrown, recalling the day that Martha and Mary hosted our Lord in their home. We are told that Martha, as a good steward, welcomes Christ in but then becomes “burdened with much serving” while her sister and fellow hostess chooses to sit with Jesus, listening to Him speak.
Martha becomes indignant at Mary’s behavior and complains to Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” However, Jesus, in His infinite wisdom, refuses to get pulled in to this sisterly spat. Instead, He offers Martha a fresh way to look at the situation. “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing.”
What is that one thing? It is to put Jesus first in our lives and above all other things. We are to “sit at his feet” and listen as Mary did, giving Him the priority of our time no matter how busy we think we are. When we genuinely commit to putting Christ first in our daily lives through a regular time of prayer and frequent participation in the sacraments, we will find that all our other concerns become less pressing, less overwhelming.
Why is this so? Because the time we invest in our relationship with God saturates all aspects of our lives with His grace. Moreover, because God cannot be outdone in generosity, He will abundantly reward any sacrifice we make in order to spend time with Him