Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time, October 8
Listening to God Allows Us to Draw Closer to the One Who Loves Each of Us Beyond All Manner of Human Understanding, Allowing Us An Opportunity to Know Him Better, and Giving Us the Opportunity of Telling God That We Truly Need Him in Our Journey Through Life.
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing.”
We once again come across a Gospel passage with which we are very familiar, and about which I have discussed before in other meditations. And we are once again invited into the home of Martha and Mary, where Jesus has just entered and begins to teach.
We also find ourselves having to make a choice. Do we become like Martha, the dutiful hostess, serving the needs of Jesus and His followers, or do we become like Mary, choosing “the better part”?
And, as I have mentioned before, I would dare say that there is a little bit of Martha and Mary in each of us. We would desire to go about ensuring that all the needs of our Lord were met, and, at the same time, we would desire to sit at the feet of our Savior in order to listen and learn – listening to His words of eternal life, not wanting to miss a thing.
Martha was filled with anxiety as she assumed the responsibility of attending to everyone’s needs, and Jesus understood Martha’s distress; and yet, His words are meant to guide us into focusing on that which is truly most important in our lives – “There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
Mary had chosen to embrace that eternal peace which only Jesus can give. She had chosen to latch onto His every word – words which give life and fill us with a joy and consolation, a hope which can be found nowhere else, other than in the very Heart of the Son of God Himself.
A few years ago, I remember reading a news story about a father visiting his son in prison. The son had been involved in a motor vehicle accident, after having been convicted for driving while being under the influence of non-prescription drugs. The accident also resulted in some rather tragic consequences for a friend who was riding with him and was seriously injured, resulting in permanent brain damage.
The conversation between the father and his son was overheard and reported to the press, since both father and son were of some notoriety, and the news editor considered the conversation to be newsworthy.
What I found alarming in the story is that neither father nor son had any real awareness or cognizance of the true value of life. There was no remorse voiced on the part of the son regarding his actions. And the only thing which appeared important was how soon the son could start making money again, and the father was supporting him in his future plans.
Both of them, father and son, showed no real concern in their conversation about this poor victim, this friend, who was permanently injured. And their lack of empathy and compassion sadly demonstrated where much of society is sometimes found today.
There are many people in various sectors of today’s culture who no longer take the time to listen to what God has to say to them. They no longer recognize the reality of sin in their lives, and the consequences which serious sin, without remorse and without forgiveness, may ultimately have upon their souls. And, without appearing judgmental, that ultimate consequence may very well be the eternal fires of Hell!
They have closed the eyes and ears of their hearts and souls to the real value and dignity of life, all for selfish and personal gain. And to what end – the loss of eternal life?
In our First Reading today, Jonah responds to God’s request to go to Nineveh, where the residents of this city had also closed a blind eye and a deaf ear to the Word of God. The Ninevites had chosen to follow a lifestyle filled with idolatry and grave sin of every form, until Jonah prophesies their impending destruction.
The inhabitants of this city, from king to lowly subject, listened to Jonah’s message and repented immediately. They turned from a life of darkness to opening their hearts to the mind and the will of God. And seeing their repentance, God turned away from the punishment He had planned for them.
Listening to God, listening to what He has to say to us, is what our Readings today are all about. And as Jesus teaches us today, “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
How do each of us, you and I, respond to the will of God in our daily activities? We respond by first taking the time to listen; and we listen through silence, we listen through prayer, we listen through our attentiveness to God’s Presence in our lives.
If more people would only take the time to truly hear what our Lord is saying, there would be more love in our hearts, there would be less divorce, there would be more peace, and we would truly begin to see the dignity and worth of each person, from the womb to natural death – for we would begin to see God’s Presence in each other!
Our God is a God of Love. He is a God of Mercy and Compassion. In order for us to become co-heirs of His Kingdom, we must also, as children of God, exhibit the godlike qualities of selfless love, mercy and compassion in our own lives – with all those whom God places in our path of life here on this side of eternity.
And God also calls us to give thanksgiving and heartfelt gratitude for all the blessings which He has bestowed upon us – the gift of life, the gift of our immortal soul sharing in the Eternal Nature of God, the gift of our faith in His Divine Son, Jesus Christ, as well as God’s gift to us of the Holy Sacraments, the gift of family and the love we receive from them – and the list is as long as our understanding of God’s Presence within us is great!
Jesus tells us in John’s Gospel, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.”
Listening to God, opening ourselves to His Truth, allows us to make a place for Him, not only in our hearts, but in our homes and in the daily circumstances of our lives as well. Listening to God allows us to draw closer to the One who loves each of us beyond all manner of human understanding. Listening to God allows us an opportunity to know Him better, and gives us the opportunity of letting God know that we truly need Him in our journey, in our daily pilgrimage through life.
Let us pray that, with the help of God’s grace, we may be freed from the needless concerns that preoccupy our time and our minds, so that we may give to God our undivided love and attention, and also our sincerest thanksgiving – all which rightfully belongs to Him!
In our daily lives, with an open mind and with a receptive heart, may we set aside all needless anxiety, so that we may find ourselves seated with Mary at the feet of our Loving Savior, always choosing “the better part” –
– always choosing to listen to His Truth which shall give us the peace for which we so deeply yearn! †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.’” (Luke 10:40)
- “The Lord said to her in reply, ‘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.’” (Luke 10:41-42)
- “The people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth…When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.” (Jonah 3:5, 10)
- “Know that the LORD is God, he made us, we belong to him, we are his people, the flock he shepherds.” (Psalm 100:3)
- “For he is our God, we are the people he shepherds, the sheep in his hands. Oh, that today you would hear his voice: Do not harden your hearts…” (Psalm 95:7-8a)
- “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” (John 10:27-28a)
- “I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them. That one is like a person building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built.” (Luke 6:47-48)
- “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” (John 18:37cd)
- “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected when received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the invocation of God in prayer.” (1 Timothy 4:4-5)
- “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
Prayer for the Day
“Most Holy and Eternal Spirit,
as we travel through life and experience Your gift of faith,
teach us to recognize the different ways
by which You speak to us in our daily lives.
“Amidst the many distractions of the world,
amidst all the distortions and perversions which exist,
may we never ignore Your Voice
in the ordinary events which we experience daily.
“We humbly pray for Your grace,
enabling our hearts to always be opened to Your Holy Presence,
always remaining attuned to Your inspirations
which guide us in a holy and right relationship with You.
“And may the eyes and ears of our soul always be opened
to the path upon which You are directing us –
for the sake of our salvation and, most especially,
for the greater honor and glory of Almighty God. Amen.”Anonymous