The Gospel of the Day – 2016.07.17
Jesus came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking. Now Martha who was distracted with all the serving said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered: ‘Martha, Martha,’ he said ‘you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.’
We all have work to do. For those of us who live with our families, or near them, or if we have friends who are a close to us as any family’ we have shared responsibilities. There is work to do every day; in maintaining a business, or a household. There is cooking, there is cleaning, there are chores that never end.
In the midst of all that work there is who we are; as individuals, with individual needs. Those personal needs have many facets, there are material needs, there are emotional needs, there are intellectual needs, and there are spiritual needs. Even those needs that are unique to us as individuals, there are few of them that we can meet on our own.
Most of us are good at meeting our material needs; food, clothing, shelter, those things are dialed in (for most of us). Our intellectual needs can be met in conversation, or through reading a book. Meeting our emotional needs can be a little more difficult, because it requires that we have other people around us whom we trust, and relate to.
The most difficult resource to find is that of a genuine spiritual teacher. Our spiritual life has direct links to the other modes of our life. Which is to say that we can find some spiritual satisfaction in a good meal, a good conversation, or a deep emotional connection.
Those things can also be exploited; overdone, so as to inure us to our actual spiritual state.
When the true spiritual teacher is present to us, that is time for us to take; for ourselves, for our understanding, for our illumination.
It requires mindfulness, and perception to recognize this. It requires will and determination to act on it.
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time