Monday, July 29, 2013

The saints do not contemplate to know, but to love.

“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them” - Fr Thomas Merton

Gospel text: (JN 11:19-27)
Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died].
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
“Your brother will rise.”
Martha said to him,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

Mary and Martha traditionally represent the contemplative and the active lives of faith. Martha is a woman of action. She may not stay still, but that doesn’t keep her from a deep relationship with Jesus. The same Holy Spirit who worked in Mary also worked in Martha, developing holiness in both of them according to their own personalities. In order to love God, Martha didn’t have to become a “Mary.” She just had to use her gifts for his glory.

Sometimes we can think that one path of holiness is better than another. But the beauty of the communion of the saints is that we see countless unique personalities bearing fruit for the kingdom of God! In fact, it’s the beauty of parish life as well: each of us in our own way witnessing to the power of the Risen Lord.

So if you feel compelled to go out and feed the poor—great! But don’t write off the quiet person spending hours in Eucharistic adoration. Or if you’re committed to defending the right to life, keep on working! But don’t look down on others who use their energy to lead the children’s liturgy or clean the church. We are all essential parts in the body of Christ!

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