Reflections - July 17, 2016

“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.”  Lk. 10:41.
 
Today the Gospel presents us with Jesus visiting two friends, Martha and Mary.  
They were two followers of Christ with two different personalities.  One was outgoing and the other had a somewhat introverted personality.
 
Their personalities complemented each other in working for the Kingdom of God.  They sought in their spiritual lives through prayer the balance of the external (to do) with the internal (to be).  A beautiful teaching for the groups of apostolates!
 
Martha’s personality is that of executing.  She takes initiative. She is the one that invites and serves and is attentive to the needs of her master and it seems that she forgets for a moment, which also happens to us, that to just “do” wears us out and can make us lose “focus” on what is most important.  “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.  Mary has chosen the better part….”.
 
However Martha is the one that comes out to meet the Lord when Lazarus dies to tell him:  “I know that whatever you ask of God, He will give it to you”.  She is a woman of faith.
 
Let us ask ourselves what the words of Jesus to Martha mean for you and me:  “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her”.
 
It comes to my memory a teaching of Ignacio of Loyola in his spiritual exercises that said:  “You have to be contemplative in action”.
 
Martha and Mary are two different personalities, but enriched with prayer and a contemplative life, they are essential to serve the Lord:  “they try to see the presence and the will of God in all that they do”.
 
Her inner life makes Mary recognize the need to get closer to her Master’s feet to learn from Christ, “The Word of Eternal Life”.  “The fullness of life is given through Christ”.  Mary also cries over the death of her brother, Lazarus.  She prostrates at the Lord’s feet pleading for her brother.  “Jesus is deeply moved by her tears and cries as well”. 
 
Jesus’ teaching in this Gospel is that it does not matter that we have different personalities.  What is important is to fill ourselves with Him through prayer, communion and moments of reflection and meditation so that we may afterwards go out to evangelize and work in our families and community for the Kingdom of God.  Remember this phrase:  “Tired, yes, but worn out and without life, no”.