Luke 10:25-37 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time July 10, 2022 Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robber’s victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
July 9, 2022
Luke 11:1-13 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time July 24, 2022 … and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray”
July 23, 2022

Luke 10:38-42 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time July 17, 2022 Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Genesis 18:1-10
Colossians 1:24-28
Luke 10:38-42

A. Text/Context
• The gospel today talks to us of the 2 very important things that we do in our lives: prayer and work, ora et labora in Latin
• And that there is a need that we have to strike a balance between prayer and work
• Martha is now cooking in the kitchen and Mary the sister of Martha is listening to the preaching of Jesus
• And the gospel also illustrates to us very striking things uncalled for during the New testament Times in Palestine especially the role of women in discipleship
• Striking in the sense that we know very well that women in those days in Palestine when men reigned supreme and women are just relegated to the sidelines
• Martha cooks in the kitchen, perhaps her eyes red of the smoke of firewood and perspiring under the heat of the oven
• While Mary her sister sits at the foot of Jesus listening to His words of wisdom
• Naturally, Martha complained to Jesus and requested him to please tell her to help me
• “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her”

B. Human Situation
• How do we understand the reply of Jesus? Is it okay for Mary not to help Martha working in the kitchen? Is listening better than working?
• If listening to Jesus would be better than cooking in the kitchen, the consequence is that nobody will cook anymore because listening is better than cooking and cooking will be less important than listening
• It is not to be understood that way. When Jesus said Mary has chosen the better portion it must be understood how the women stand in the Jewish society during their time
• So the projection of Mary by our evangelist for today Luke is really an act of liberation or emancipation or the freedom of women
• With Mary sitting at the foot of Jesus this is really something very strange in those times because only a disciple who is a man can sit at the feet of his master. But Jesus has allowed Mary to do that
• In other words, the scene in the gospel today means that Jesus has also called women like Mary to become a disciple just like all the disciples who are men with Jesus giving equally the same rights accorded to men even with the existing social taboos or cultural hindrances
• It means that Jesus goes beyond the social parameters in the call for discipleship to men and women equally
• We must not forget that both roles, working and praying are all holy which we know as the balance between prayer and work
• The issue in the gospel is not really the distinction of what is better but on the value of hospitality
• If Martha will not prepare food for the Lord who is their guest, she will not be hospitable
• If Mary will not listen to the Lord who is their guest, it’s the same thing, she will not also be hospitable
• Serving and listening are both acts of hospitality to a guest as both prayer and work are also both pleasing in the eyes of God
• The same thing is reiterated in the first reading, Abraham is very hospitable to his guest so that the good news that his visitors bring is that soon Abraham and Sarah will have a son even in their old age
• The lesson is that if we receive people with hospitality they might bring with them some good news for you. We will miss the good news if we are rude to our guests because they will not tell you the good things they brought with them
• Another thing is also a balance between prayer and work or between ora et labora
• For example it’s a Sunday and Sunday mass is really an obligation for us Catholics
• But you have an infant to take care, your husband is away, nobody is in the house
• God will not be happy that you have attended Sunday mass but you have neglected your baby
• God will be happy that you have attended Sunday mass because you have arranged for somebody to take care of your baby while you are away
• That is what we call a balance between prayer and work
• When I was still a seminarian I asked my spiritual director what can I do if I am really very busy and I cannot pray anymore?
• What was the answer? You can even say a Hail Mary while travelling and with just one Our Father or one Glory Be a day if you are really busy
• When you are so busy you can be so taken by it that you will have no time to pray
• So what you will do? Spend time before sleeping or spend time during weekends. There is no hard rule to strike a balance between prayer and work
• And you can even offer all your work as a form of prayer because work that is done with the right intentions is already prayer in itself

C. Challenge
• The challenge for us now is that as Filipinos it is already in our character that we are hospitable as we are already known by foreigners as very hospitable people
• The foreigners are overwhelmed by our hospitality because we are so warm and people in their own country are so cold
• It we talk of hospitality we have no problem with that. But we have to bear in mind that it is not also proper and correct to be hospitable if we only choose the people we want to entertain and lavish with good and warm reception
• Aside from the value of hospitality, the gospel today also reminds us that we must not discriminate
• That we must give equal treatment to everyone without prejudice or discrimination
• Martha expressed her hospitality by serving good food to the Lord who was her guest
• Mary expressed her hospitality by listening to Jesus who also was her guest
• And most of all Jesus expressed his hospitality to Mary the sister of Martha by allowing her to sit on her feet never been accorded to the women of Palestine during the time of Jesus
• Jesus has broken the barriers of social and cultural taboos in the true spirit of hospitality without discrimination
• Jesus gives Mary more dignity in her status as a woman in a society where women are discriminated upon
• Once more as good Christians we should not only be hospitable to others, we are also reminded to give what is due to others in order to put more dignity to others as human beings
• Hospitality does not stop in being lavish and warm in reception; it also includes justice and charity in order to put more dignity to the humanity of others

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Luke 10 verse 38-42

Luke 10 verse 38-42

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