Come & See
Brief reflections on the week’s Scripture readings,
16th SUNDAY - Week of July 17, 2022
Jesus entered a village where a woman
whose name was Martha welcomed him.
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
and said, "Lord, do you not care
Tell her to help me."
you are anxious and worried about many things.
Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her."
Pondering the Word …
According to a quick internet search, the male counterpart to the name Martha is “Martinus.” (The same search yielded an option, “Who would be the male version of Martha Stewart?” I didn’t click on it so you’ll have to find out yourself!)
One thing I’ve noticed in my work in spiritual direction is a marked shortage of men taking part. Those who do tend to be ministers or men who have jobs in ministerial settings. Of course, it’s usually women who get the label of “multitasker,” being concerned with too many things.
Even though Jesus is addressing his words here to a woman, we are all prone to overextend ourselves and forget the importance of prayer and reflection. I encourage all you anxious and worried ”Martinuses” out there -- and you know who you are -- to set aside time for the only thing that can bring you peace. Choose the better part. Sit for a while at the feet of the Lord.
Living the Word…
“Too often we are so busy doing the urgent that we do not have time to do the important.” Confucius
The past several years have ratcheted up the global anxiety level more than a few notches. Too much to do, not enough people to do it, and so much uncertainty and loss. Urgency has been the name of the game to the detriment of many important things in our personal and collective lives, and for the planet and the poor.
I encourage everyone to take time throughout the day to connect with God. Start with a simple affirmation about the love you and God share. If you have the time to sit with the daily Scriptures, don’t just read them —reflect and ponder: ”What is God saying to me?” At mid-day, do a mini-examine to reconnect. Stop for minute and ask: “Where is God? Where am I?” Then at night, take few minutes to review the day from the standpoint of gratitude. (Remember, most of the hassles that frustrate us have to do with our blessings!) These practices may seem awkward or stilted when you first start, but over time, you will find yourself “praying always,” being constantly aware of God’s presence and peace. Then reach out from that peace to bring it to others.
Mon, Jul 18:
“You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you:
Doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with your God.”
Tue, Jul 19:
“Who is there like
you, the God who removes guilt...who delights in clemency?”
(Mi 7: 14-15, 18-20)
“But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or
“For with you is the fountain of life, and in your light we see light.”
“Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.”
Sat, Jul 23: “Are you to steal, murder, commit adultery and perjury… go after strange gods, and yet come to stand before me in this house which bears my name, and say: "We are safe (to) commit all these abominations again?” (Jer 7:1-11) There’s nothing that gets my ire up as much as people who sin unabashedly (and seemingly with impunity) who then show up at worship services on Sunday, only to go back and commit the same sins on Monday. (And, yes, there are times when I’ve been irate with myself!) Politicians, celebrities, religious leaders… the list goes on, as does the list of “strange gods:” power, fame, nationalism, excessive wealth. Reflection/Provision: God’s mercy is boundless, forgiving us each time we return with a sincere heart. But the point of this mercy is to bring about a change of heart that, in turn, becomes evident in our actions. (Addictions can make behavior change very difficult, but God sees the desire of our hearts.) We all have “strange gods;” thankfully, most of them are not dangerous, but they exist nonetheless and can impede the sincerity of our worship. The next time you go to enter God’s house, make note of your “strange gods” and pray to God for strength to let them go.
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© 2021, Elaine H. Ireland.