Scripture: Lectionary 109. Genesis 18:1-10. Psalm 15:2-3, 3-4,5. Colossians 1:24-28. Luke 10:38-42:
Our Sunday readings offer us much to meditate and think about during this week. They are excellent for several topics of meditation or lectio divina—a more calm and simple pondering over their meaning without haste or trying to cover a lot of information. There are lessons in hospitality, justice, integrity of life through Christ, and friendship in that order. It is worthwhile to come back to one of these readings and use them for communicating with God through the revelatory words of the Bible.
In our first reading we have one of the most powerful scenes about hospitality shown by the first father and mother in faith: Abraham and Sarah work together in providing a sumptuous meal for the three strangers who come upon them. The three are sent by God as messengers of the good news that Sarah will have a baby when they return next year at this time. The combined action of hospitality and the promise of new life for Abraham and Sara gives them great hope and joy. Hospitality is all about joy, peace, sharing, and hope.
The Psalm shows us what justice means in the biblical sense. It is equated with righteousness or holiness. There are many psalms that spell out what justice is all about and Psalm 15 is one of the first to do this in a clear and simple way. The antiphon shows us the reward of justice: “He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.” That is what we are called to do on aSunday—to live in the presence of the Lord and to relax and enjoy God in a special unhurried way.
Colossians is a powerful scripture that speaks about the whole universe, its elements and how Jesus is the one who brings all into the bigger picture of God’s loving plan for our joy, peace, and salvation. Jesus is more powerful than the negative powers that thwart the purpose of creation. Wisdom is obtained through our being united with Christ and entering into the mystery of God. This gives us hope for the future. We grow into completeness or integrity by our union with the Lord of the universe.
Taking a new look at the friendship of Martha and Mary with Jesus we can find that Martha does have a very special friendship with the Lord by making sure all is in order for the celebration of a meal with Jesus and her sister Mary. Mary does not enjoy the down to earth talking with Jesus that Martha does. Both Jesus and Mary would have been disappointed had not Martha given them the leisure time to be free while she accomplishes a lot by providing the atmosphere and welcome needed on such an occasion. As in John’s Gospel Martha has more speaking time with Jesus than does Mary and it is Martha who proclaims that Jesus is the one to come, the Savior of the world, the Messiah. Her faith is as great as that of Mary and is put into practice. Mary has to learn how to contemplare et aliis tradere (contemplate and then hand something on to others). The Dominicans and the Benedictines and the Passionists know how to combine the gifts of both Mary and Martha. We should do the same. Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.