Gospel Reflections

16th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Luke 10:38-42

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Agnes Nelson

Published: July 21, 2019

Today we are drawn to contemplate that lovely story of Jesus being welcomed into the house of Martha and Mary. They are both delighted by his visit but show this in very different ways.

Martha is busy about many things but I think the symbolism of the story draws us to Mary, sitting and absorbing the presence of Jesus. She is totally present to Jesus.  She teaches us that in simply being there we “catch” something. It’s a kind of contagion which doesn’t necessarily pass in the words but EXUDES from the teacher’s being. Through our constant attention to Jesus, we are changed. One author says that if we fill our minds with the life-rhythm of Jesus, we will find that we begin to see, to hear and to respond to life situations in a God-like manner. This is Mary’s invitation: be with Jesus, simply present.

St Luke says that Mary “listened”. I found it very helpful to learn that the Chinese word for LISTEN has four characters: one for ears, one for eyes, one for heart and one for undivided attention!
We are all drawn, like Mary, to be with Jesus, to give our full attention. This poem by Edwina Gately helps us to see the relationship from God’s perspective.

Rest your bones in silence,
still your racing heart,
close your tired and restless eyes
and come awhile apart.

Leave everything behind you,
come naked and bereft,
you will receive a hundredfold
of all that you have left.

Rest with God, beloved,
who waits for you alone
to pause upon your journey
and stay with God at home.

Come swiftly, loved and precious one,
God longs to sit with you,
to absorb your lovely presence
as the flower that holds the dew.

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