Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
(Galatians 1:13-24; Luke 10:38-42)
It is said that St. John Paul II used to teach that the first duty of every Christian is to allow herself to be loved by God. Some people seem to believe that they must earn this love so they never stop working. They act in a way similar to Martha in today’s gospel.
Remember the story of Jesus visiting Zacchaeus’ home; how he tells the tax collector, “’…salvation has come to this house.’” Salvation has come to Martha and Mary’s home, but Martha does not realize her fortune. Her only concern is service to her guests. As admirable as this intention may be, it blocks an encounter with the Lord. Out of obsessive concern for work Martha misses a unique opportunity for salvation. Mary, in contrast, realizes the uniqueness of the opportunity. She responds with attentiveness to what Jesus has to say.
The long day provides many opportunities to work. It also offers us moments to contemplate God’s goodness and to thank Him for His bounty. We are wise to be a little like both sisters in this gospel episode. Like Mary we want to attend to the Lord by cherishing his words and thanking him for his goodness. Like Martha we want to serve him by caring for the need of others.