‘Today’s Gospel Reminds Us that Wisdom of Heart Lies Precisely in Being Able to Combine These Two Elements: Contemplation and Action’
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
In this Sunday’s passage, the evangelist Luke narrates Jesus’ visit to the home of Martha and Mary, Lazarus’ sisters (Cf. Luke 10:38-42). They receive Him and Mary sits at His feet to listen to him. She leaves what she was doing to be close to Jesus; she doesn’t want to miss any of His words. Everything is put aside when He comes to visit us in our life; His presence and word come before anything else. The Lord always surprises us: when we truly listen to Him, the clouds vanish, doubts cede the place to truth, fears to serenity, and the different situations of life find their right place. When the Lord comes, He always arranges things, also us.
In this scene of Mary of Bethany at Jesus’ feet, Saint Luke shows the praying attitude of the believer, who is able to be in the Master’s presence to listen to Him and to be in tune with Him. It’s about pausing during the day, recollecting oneself in silence for a few minutes, to make room for the Lord who “passes” and to find the courage to stay somewhat “aside” with Him, to then return with more serenity and efficacy to the everyday things. Praising Mary’s behavior, who “chose the better part” (v. 42) Jesus seems to repeat to each one of us: “Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the things you have to do, but listen first of all to the Lord’s voice, to do well the tasks that life assigns to you.”
Then there is the other sister, Martha. Saint Luke says that it was she who received Jesus (Cf. v. 38). Perhaps Martha was the older of the two sisters, we don’t know, but this woman certainly had the charism of hospitality. In fact, while Mary was listening to Jesus, was wholly taken up with many services. Therefore, Jesus says to her: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things” (v. 41). With these words, He certainly doesn’t intend to condemn the attitude of service but rather the breathlessness with which it is sometimes lived. We also share Saint Martha’s concerns and, on her example, we try to have the sense of hospitality, of fraternity lived in our families and in our communities, so that each one can feel “at home,” especially the little ones and the poor when they knock on the door.
Therefore, today’s Gospel reminds us that wisdom of heart lies precisely in being able to combine these two elements: contemplation and action. Martha and Mary show us the way. If we wish to relish life with joy, we must associate these two attitudes: on one hand, “to be at the feet” of Jesus, to listen to Him while the secret of everything is revealed to us; on the other, to be solicitous and prompt in hospitality, when He passes and knocks on our door, with the face of a friend who is in need of a moment of respite and fraternity. This hospitality is needed.
May Mary Most Holy, Mother of the Church, give us the grace to love and serve God and our brothers with Martha’s hands and Mary’s heart because, remaining always listening to Christ, we can be architects of peace and hope.
After the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Fifty years ago, yesterday, man set foot on the moon, realizing an extraordinary dream. May the memory of that great step trigger the desire to progress together to even greater goals: more dignity to the weak, more justice between peoples, more future for our common home.
I now give a warm greeting to all of you, Romans and pilgrims! In particular, I greet the novices of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians from different countries. I greet you in a special way, and I hope that some of you will go to Patagonia: there is a need to work there! I greet the students of Christ the King School of Asuncion (Paraguay), the seminarians and formators of the Don Guanella Work of Iasi (Romania), the young people of Chiry-Ourscamp (France) and the faithful of Cantu.
I wish you all a happy Sunday and, please, don’t forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch and goodbye!