Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"The best way to economize time is to 'lose' half an hour each day attending Holy Mass."

It is pleasant to spend time with Him, to lie close to His breast like the Beloved Disciple and to feel the infinite love present in His Heart....how can we not feel a renewed need to spend time in spiritual converse, in silent adoration, in heartfelt love before Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament? - Pope Saint John Paul II

Gospel Text: (LK 10:38-42)
Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
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.”
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.”

Martha is burdened by much serving. It is unclear who exactly has burdened her. Has she perhaps burdened herself? Those of us who want to be perfect hosts know this burden. Or we have seen friends and family struggle to have the perfect dinner miss the actual dinner. Jesus calls Martha to this understanding. Be present – this is his invitation to her. Certainly, details will need to be addressed, but do these details trump the people coming to visit?

Again and again, Jesus’ invitation is to true presence in a real moment of life. Resurrection is not (only) some far-off experience, something that we will get to eventually, if only we believe hard enough. Rather, new life is the gift Jesus offers to us simply by his very presence. Jesus is Resurrection; Jesus is Life. And when we encounter him, we encounter life, we are raised.

Too often the burdens of our daily life keep us from that moment. We need things to be perfect, so we miss out on the joys found in the imperfections. Or, we focus so much on getting the details just right, that we miss the reason the details matter at all. In dark days, too, we can place all our hopes and dreams on some far-off vindication, or some abstract ideal, that we miss out on the gifts of life offered even amid apparent desolation.

In the Gospel noted above, Martha is not bad person. Nor has she chosen bad things, let alone sinful things. Attending to the details and hoping in the final resurrection of God’s People – these are good things! Jesus, though, invites her to not let those good things stand between her and a better thing. For, Jesus invites her to an immediate encounter with new life. Jesus extends that invitation to you and me, too.

Can we let go of our burdens and far-off dreams, good as they may be, to encounter the Resurrection and Life of Jesus today? Can we too choose “the better part”?

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