Tuesday of the 27th Week of the Year

Luke 10:38-42

Martha and Mary


There is a place in the Island of Guimaras where monks reside called Trappists. They are religious who spend their life in a peaceful community life of prayer and work. They indulge in no active apostolate. It is a life which makes no sense to us who are used to a busy and productive existence. We are the Marthas; the Monks are the Marys; and if we take what our gospel text says literally, they and not we have “chosen the better part.”

Actually, Martha compliments Mary and vice versa. In this life, activity and solitude should enrich each other. In the midst of our busy existence we need to find a time and a place of quiet where we may collect ourselves and enjoy true peace with God. Unless we are able to do this, we cannot be truly happy. The measure of happiness is not in the volume of our merriments but in whether our joy remains even in our quiet lonesomeness. Whoever is not happy in solitude is not genuinely happy, and so he seeks company. (Bro. Romy Abulad, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


The gospel story about Martha and Mary is often interpreted in terms of the need to integrate prayer and work, the contemplative and the active dimensions of our lives.

I have heard and read, however, a different interpretation, based on Scripture studies, that I find very touching and meaningful. To me, it seems to reveal more clearly the heart of Jesus and the love of the Father.

Mary sat at Jesus’ feet. In the culture of Jesus’ time and milieu, to “sit at the Master’s feet” is to be His Disciple. This was a place reserved for men, not for women. Martha knew. She felt embarrassed and apologetic for her sister. Martha stuck faithfully to the accepted practice: hers was the role to cook and serve the master and not sit at his feet. She did her role with love.

Jesus, knowing Martha’s thoughts, assures her, however, that Mary and yes, Martha too, and for that matter, any woman is welcome to sit at the Master’s feet. They, too, are his beloved disciples.

Jesus’ sensitive, all-inclusive attitude portrayed in this interpretation is consistent with Jesus’ attitude to sinners, to the Samaritans, to lepers, to tax collectors; in fact, to all who were deemed outsiders in God’s Kingdom. He breaks the narrow thinking of His culture and opens people’s eyes to the kind of kingdom God comes to bring about. In the Father’s banquet, IN THE Father’s love, there is room for all. (Sr. Lou-Anne, SSpS Bible Diary 2004)


Many of us priests love to be told, “Father, ganda ng semon mo! (Father, your sermon was good). Even if we pretend humility, we welcome remarks such as, “Do you have a copy of that homily?” and we rush to make a copy of it. For this reason we sometimes preoccupy ourselves too much on exerting effort to produce praiseworthy homilies. We ask fellow priests for new stories, jokes and pakwelas to smarten up our sermons. It happens then that if we are dissatisfied with our homily, we consider the entire celebration a “failure.” At this point the words of Jesus enter, “….you worry and are troubled about many things…”

Whereas a good homily is something we have to strive for, it is not the most important in the celebration of the sacrament. The “better part” is the celebration itself, when Jesus comes and touches the community. Liturgy is not made by a good delivery; or by a homily that makes people laugh. That is my contribution but more important is God’s action. When people experience God’s presence and friendship while “sitting at table” with Him, that for me is a “successful” celebration.

Still, I love it when people thank me for a good homily; however, I doubly love it when they say, “Thank you for that beautiful celebration.” (Fr. Atilano Corcuera, SVD Bible Diary 2005)


Silence is an important rule, in fact a value, in our seminary. Without silence, we cannot concentrate on praying, studying, resting and even decisions.

In the gospel story, two sisters, Martha and Mary, welcomed Jesus, a closed friend of the family, to a meal.

The two were both hospitable but each in her own way. Martha kept herself busy by preparing a special meal while Mary sat in front of Jesus, listening to Him in silence. Then, suddenly, Martha complained and said to Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself. Please tell her to help me.”

Jesus took this occasion to reveal to Martha the importance of what Mary was doing before his presence and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you worry about so many things and Mary has chosen the better part. And it should not be taken away from her.”

What does the gospel mean for us? Silence is one of the words that has become less appreciated, less encouraged and less observed nowadays. Children cannot study without music. Families cannot even eat their meals without watching television. We cannot even pray to God long enough without switching off our cell phones inside the chapel.

Mary in today’s gospel, showed us a perfect example how to get out from our busy and noisy world, and spend time with the Lord, speaking and listening to him in silence. Even Jesus knew the importance of silence. It was not only one but many times that Jesus fled to a lonely place, away from the noisy crowd, in order to pray in silence to his Father in heaven.

We really need some moments of silence in our daily life. It is usually in these moments that God speaks to us. This might be the reason why God created us with two eyes and two ears but only one tongue. He wants us to speak less and to see and hear him more n silence. If we do this, I am sure that Jesus would also be addressing us, ‘Indeed, you have the chosen part and it should not be taken away from you.” (Fr. Gerry Donato, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


One of the most common issues nowadays in many families or in many relationships is how to find quality time for the other; to listen to his/her joys and sorrows or sharing with him/her life experiences. There are already a handful of stories about broken families or shattered relationships because of the lack of quality time for each other.

In today’s gospel reading we are presented with two values. What Martha did to Jesus as the latter paid a visit to her was considered a noble act during those times and I believe is also true today. However, Mary Jesus said, had chosen the better part, that is, sitting by the Lord’s feet listening to him speak. What is there in Mary’s choice that made it the better part?

The contrast in the character of Martha and Mary is usually used to illustrate the active and the contemplative life. But I would prefer not to limit this concept only to consecrated men and women or to religious missionaries. Each of us is called to be dynamic in our relationship with the Lord. We are called to be active by extending charitable acts to others and we are also called to be contemplative by listening to our Lord in prayer. The temptation sometimes is to put emphasis on one over the other. In doing so, we might miss the better part. (Frt. Ciloy Boloron, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


It is true that Mary is not Martha and Martha is not Mary. In our life we are either more contemplative than active or more active than contemplative. A scholar, for example, is by his calling more prone to solitary literary work than a politician who, again by his calling, is at home in aggressive mobile undertakings. Even the religious life is open to more practical types than one can imagine. Some of us find much joy in devotional exercises, others in apostolic outreach and still others in religious study. All of these types have their own validity and make for the richness of the community. What could be questionable is if, because of my pietistic inclination, I would tend to force everybody else to adopt my personal preference.

Mary has, of course, hosen the better part. Active work, which is what Martha stands for, is important but without prayer and contemplation it is at best only social work. The contention here is that while work is good, it is even better if that work is done in a mood that is selfless and prayerful. This is not to say, that Martha alone, as one who represents service, is not doing right; just that the better part is missing if a heart that listens to God does not accompany the service. In other words, it is possible for work or service to be at the same time a prayer and contemplation; our work becomes prayer. We might add here that such a work or service, which is at the same time prayerful and contemplative, will no doubt be done according to one’s best ability; it shall be an offering which is acceptable to God.

As Catholics, we are not bereft of examples of humans who embody in their person both Martha and Mary. Today (October 7), indeed, as we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Rosary, we think of Our Lady, an active disciple who always keeps the precious, even painful, things in her heart. We see her always moving about where her Son is and wherever she might be needed. We can feel her joys and her sorrows as well as her eventual glories as, with her, we follow the life and passion of her Son. How can we be both Martha and Mary? We thank our Mother for showing us the way. (Bro. Romy Abulad, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


Was Martha’s way of serving Jesus not proper? Was Jesus not appreciative of Martha’s gesture of welcome and hospitality?

For Filipinos, like any other culture, welcoming a visitor includes offering a drink or something to eat no matter how simple the food maybe. Komustahan or sharing of information or stories becomes more important for both visitor and host.

A close friend of Jesus, Martha busied herself with food preparation to welcome Jesus. “Jesus must be hungry from the long walk,” Martha must have thought with concern. It could be that she wanted help from Mary to get the food done in a short time so that she too would be able to sit before Jesus and listen to Him. Truly a good intention of Martha but her complaint about her sister not helping her sounded childish.

Perhaps Martha could have been too anxious entertaining Jesus with food. But Jesus wanted more than food. Jesus wanted Martha’s precious moments – sharing. Listening and enjoying each other’s presence.

This is why Mary chose the better part. “You must not set your hearts on things to eat and things to drink….set your hearts on His kingdom and these other things will be given you as well,” (Lk 12:29-31). Jesus was there in the house of the sisters Martha and Mary, his person and words waiting to be received.

Seek Jesus first in our work and in our prayer. Choose God. (Sr. Irmella Carlos, SSpS Bible Diary 2009)


October 4, 2016 Tuesday       

Filipino hospitality suggests that we offer our guests the best, especially food and accommodation. In today’s Gospel, Martha does the same thing in serving the Lord, making him feel comfortable and provided for everything He needs. However, for Jesus Martha’s company is far more important than her serving Him. Jesus wants to be with His friends to share with them the joy of the gospel. Today, we are all busy with our work to ensure our future and our family. Like Martha we are burdened with many things in life. Hence, our gospel is urging us to give time and space for God even just for a moment amidst our busy schedules. Jesus is longing to share His company with us and like Mary we should pause and listen to His Words – our source of strength and life. We should end the day with the thought: “I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray.”

St. Francis of Assisi felt the presence of Christ in his solitude and allowed Jesus to accompany him. That experience changed his life forever. Life is easier if we allow the Lord to be part of our everyday struggle and aspirations. Listening to the Lord gives us peace and consolation. Being with the Lord, like Mary does, is not a sign of laziness, complacency or escape but a way of allowing our lives to be continually inspired by His Words so we can continue moving on despite the burden of work. Let us all be reminded by Jesus’ words: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt. 11:28). Yes, we find rest in the Lord and being with Him is a gift that we should cherish and treasure. (Fr. Patricio R. delos Reyes Jr, SVD | Liceo del Verbo Divino – Tacloban City (Bible Diary 2016)



Our initial reflections on the story of Martha and Mary is to make both sisters quarrel more! We debate on which is better: prayer or action. The truth is that both are important. Prayer without action, wrote the Apostle James, is nothing. Likewise, work without prayer is activism, socialism, pragmatism. In the context of the story, both Martha (the icon of work) and Mary (the icon of prayer) were friends of Jesus, and both, I suppose, are saints. In fact,  I know of friends who even have very special devotions to St. Martha. In the Gospel of St. John, Martha even emerged to be the woman of stronger faith. She went out to face Jesus at the death of Lazarus, while Mary stayed home absorbed in her grief.

The issue is charity. Jesus Martha for doing good with great anxiety that led her to complain that she alone was doing the kitchen chores. St. Therese of Lisieux said that a small act done in pure love is better than all the services one can do in Church.

Whatever is that we do, whether it is action or prayer, we must do all out of love for God and for others (cf. 1Cor 10:31). This is the secret of real happiness in a person’s task (Fr. Domie Guznman SSP New Every Morning New Everyday p. 296)


Luke 10:38-39: Believing in Christ (CCC 151). For a Christian believing in God can’t be separated from believing in the One he sent, his beloved Son, in whom the Father is well-pleased; God tells us to listen to Him. Christ Himself said to His disciples: “Believe in God, believe also in me.” We can believe in Christ because He is Himself God, the Word made flesh: “No one has ever seen God; the only Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.” Because He has seen the Father, Christ is the only one who knows Him and can reveal Him (Fr. Iko Bajos).


Luke 10:38-42: At the start of a major exam, students are reminded to read the instructions well. Those who don’t listen and rush may think their answers are great, only to say later they’re wrong. Today’s readings remind us of listening. Christ visits Martha and Mary. Martha rushes off to serve Christ’s needs and criticizes Mary for just sitting listening to Christ. Christ reminds her that she’s worried about many things for she didn’t take time to listen to Him first. In the first Reading, the people of Nineveh listened to God through Jonah. They repented their sins and averted their destruction. The disasters of our country, our family and personal life are often the result of not to listening to God in the Bible, in prayer and through His Church (Fr. Iko Bajos).


TUESDAY OF THE 27TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – LUKAS 10:38-42. Unsaon man nato pagdawat si Kristo diha sa atong tagsatagsa ka kinabuhi? Atong masabtan sa ebanghelyo nga ang Dios buot mosulod dili lamang sa atong mga panimalay kondili diha sa atong kasingkasing. Ikalipay pag-ayo sa Ginoo kon kita, sama kang Maria, modawat kaniya ug mohatag og panahon aron maminaw sa iyang mga Pulong. Mahimo nato kini pinaagi sa paggahin og mga tinakdang oras sulod sa adlaw aron mag-ampo, magbasa ug mamalandong sa Pulong sa Dios. Ikahimuot usab sa Ginoo kon kita, sama kang Marta, magsilbi Kaniya pinaagi sa pag-alagad sa mga kauban sa balay ug mga silingan, ilabina ang mga kabos nga adunay panginahanglan. Siguradohon lamang nato nga ang atong gugma sa pagpangalagad magtubod gikan sa atong pagpakig-uban Kaniya diha sa pag-ampo. Posted by Abet Uy



Monday, October 5, 2015

TUESDAY OF THE 27TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 10:38-42. UNSAON MAN NATO PAGDAWAT UG PAGSILBI SI KRISTO DIHA SA ATONG KINABUHI? Atong masabtan sa ebanghelyo nga ang Dios buot mosulod dili lamang sa atong mga panimalay kondili diha sa atong kasingkasing. Ikalipay pag-ayo ni Kristo kon kita, sama kang Maria, modawat kaniya ug mohatag og panahon aron maminaw sa iyang mga Pulong. Mahimo nato kini pinaagi sa paggahin og mga tinakdang oras sulod sa adlaw aron mag-ampo, magbasa ug mamalandong sa Pulong sa Dios. Ikahimuot usab sa Ginoo kon kita, sama kang Marta, magsilbi kaniya pinaagi sa pag-alagad sa mga kabos ug mga nanginahanglan. Adunay nindot nga panultihon: “A good looking person works out to keep his/her body in shape. But a beautiful person kneels down in prayer to keep his/her heart in shape.” Posted by Abet Uy



Monday, October 3, 2016

TUESDAY OF THE 27TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME – LUKAS 10:38-42. UNSAON MAN NATO PAGDAWAT SI KRISTO DIHA SA ATONG KINABUHI? Ang Dios buot mosulod dili lamang sa atong mga panimalay kondili diha sa atong kasingkasing. Ikalipay pag-ayo ni Kristo kon kita, sama kang Maria, nga igsoon ni Marta, modawat kaniya ug mohatag og panahon aron maminaw sa iyang mga Pulong. Mahimo nato kini pinaagi sa paggahin og mga tinakdang oras sulod sa adlaw aron mag-ampo, magbasa ug mamalandong sa Pulong sa Dios. Himoon natong makanunayon ang pag-ampo dili aron kita madunggan sa Ginoo kondili, labaw sa tanan, aron kita makadungog kaniya. Ang Iyang mensahe, dili ang ato, maoy labing importante. Adunay nindot nga panultihon: “God speaks to those who take time to listen. Ang He listens to those who take time to pray.” Posted by Abet Uy



Reflection for Tuesday October 7 Our Lady of the Rosary; Luke 10:38-42 – Reflection: Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary this is in honor of the 16th century naval victory in Europe against the Turkish invasion. Pope St. Pius V attributed the victory to the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was said that the ship’s crew in the battle field implored the intercession of the Blessed Mother by praying the Holy Rosary before the battle occurred.

What are we going to do if we visit a house of a friend and we get the same treatment that Jesus received from Martha and Mary? Who are we going to favor Martha or Mary? It actually depend upon us who are we going to favor. But Jesus obviously preferred the action of Mary who sat down at the feet of Jesus and faithfully listened to Him.

What did Martha do that it did not get the merit of Jesus? Martha was busy preparing food for Jesus, why did Jesus did not favor her when what she was doing was for His honor also? Jesus is a preacher and being a preacher he wants people to listen to Him so that He could impart His wisdom. This was perhaps the reason why Jesus preferred the reverent action of Mary.

What happens to us when we listen to Jesus and when we meditate on His words? We gain wisdom from Jesus himself and we are enlightened by Him no less. But do we still have time to listen to Jesus? Are we not very busy with our many worldly undertakings?

Some of us may say that we have to move and be busy because we have to earn and eat otherwise we’ll get hungry. Yes this is true, but what will happen to us if we are all work? If we have no more time for Jesus or if Jesus is just a minuscule entity in our lives? – Marino J. Dasmarinas



Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Reflection for October 6, Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 10:38-42

Reflection: What does habitual prayer do to us? What does daily bible reading do to us? What does consistent presence at the Celebration of the Holy Mass do to us? These actions if done with piety would bring us closer to Jesus.

In today’s gospel our attention is brought on the two actions of sisters Mary and Martha with Jesus at the center of it all.

When Mary recognized her Lord and Savior she didn’t do anything except to sat and listen to His wisdom and life changing words. This is what we do when we pray, this is what we do when we read the bible with all of our being and this is what we do when we reverently worship Jesus when we attend the celebration of the Holy Eucharist (Mass).

Jesus obviously favored the worshipful action of Mary for it is through this she could grow in closeness with Jesus. This is what Jesus wants for all of us too: To be close to Him. What does our closeness to Jesus do to us?

It creates awareness within us that life in this world is temporary and fleeting, it opens our minds to the immense blessings that we can have the moment we spend time with Jesus. It teaches us that we must always live and share our lives with others especially to those who are in need.

How about Martha? She did no wrong to Jesus in fact what she was doing was for the benefit of Jesus. However, it would have not cost her much time if she first listened to the life changing words of Jesus before doing her work.

As we continue our temporary journey; we will be compelled by the demands of this world to get busy and to work for our survival. But amidst these worldly things let us not forget to first allocate time for God. Let us first listen to the wisdom of God and the life changing words of Jesus.

Do you always give time first for Jesus before doing your daily activities? – Marino J. Dasmarinas



Friday, September 30, 2016

Reflection for Tuesday October 4, Saint Francis of Assisi; Luke 10:38-42

Reflection: Like Martha are we anxious and worried about many things?

This story of Martha is our story also. Are we not too busy with the daily grind of this temporary life that we don’t have anymore time to pray and listen to Jesus? Many of us are somewhat like  Martha very busy with worldliness and what happens when we have no more time to listen to Jesus?

There’s disintegration in the family simply because we have no more time to listen to Jesus. There is still life after this present life that we are in and we can best prepare ourselves to go there if we will always take time to listen and be one with Jesus thru the celebration of the Holy Mass.

Many modern parents today are often very busy with their own worldly activities. They hardly have time to take care and counsel their children. Thus, they try to compensate their lack of personal interactions with their children by giving them money and the latest gadgets that do more harm than good to them.

What would happen to us if upon waking-up in the morning we storm-out of bed, eat our breakfast and be busy with our daily activities? We become citizens of this world that are distant from Jesus.

How about if we take time first to thank Jesus for His many blessings? We pray and listen to Him even for a brief moment; we can always create time for God if we would want to. This would surely make us closer to Jesus, we will learn more from Him and we will become more sensitive to what He wants us to do for Him.

When Jesus entered a village and subsequently went to the house of Mary and Martha. It was Mary who took time to sit beside at His feet to listen to Him. Thus Mary imbibed everything that Jesus wanted to tell her. By listening to Jesus she learned from Him and developed a much deeper friendship with Him.

Martha on the other hand was very busy preparing food for Jesus she forgot that Jesus was not after what she was doing. Jesus wanted her to be like Mary, He wanted her to also listen to Him.

By listening to Jesus we learn from Him and we develop a much deeper friendship with Him. Do we always take time daily even for a brief moment to pray and listen to Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas



YOU NEED BOTH – “You are anxious and worried about many things.” – Luke 10:41

“If you worry, you didn’t pray. If you prayed, don’t worry.”

I believe this saying, but I believe it’s only half of the whole truth. Let me explain.

I was a mediocre student. I would cram for exams but would fall asleep at my desk. The next day, I would pray profusely, asking God to “bless me.” Looking back, I wonder just what exactly I was praying for. Was God supposed to plant answers in my mind that I didn’t actually know in the first place? Was He supposed to miraculously change the heart of the teacher grading my paper so she would have mercy on my lazy soul? Or was He supposed to magically change the mark on the test sheet after she had already flunked me? Years later, I discovered this wonderful thing that worked pretty well with prayer. They called it many things: studying in advance, listening in class, doing homework, etc.

I believe we need to be both Mary and Martha. We need to pray and act at the same time. We should work as hard as we humanly can, and then pray that God would bless our efforts. But without action, there would be nothing for Him to bless. George Tolentino Gabriel (george.g@svrtv.com)

Reflection: Have you sincerely done all you can? Relax and leave the rest to God.

Lord, may I always give my all — both in prayer and in action.



GOD IS FOUND IN SILENCE – One of the most misunderstood forms of religious life is the contemplative life. In our overactive world, only a few can understand why a young man or woman would seek God in solitude and prayer.

St. Bruno belongs to this often misunderstood way of following Christ. Bruno was born in Cologne in 1030. After his ordination, he taught Theology for 25 years in France and became an immensely popular teacher. But this kind of life left him unsatisfied. He refused to become a bishop because he longed for a solitary life of penance and contemplation.

With some companions, he started a new lifestyle, one that combined solitude and community life. They settled in a deserted, nearly inaccessible place high up in the Alps where they built a chapel and small cells at a little distance from each other. Only for prayer and Mass did they come together. They ate only once a day — alone; only on great liturgical feasts did they eat together. Their main work and source of livelihood was copying manuscripts.

After six years, one of Bruno’s former students became Pope, Urban II, who ordered him to become his advisor in Rome. Very reluctantly, Bruno obeyed. But soon the Pope realized that his former teacher was unhappy and longed for solitude. And so, Pope Urban allowed him to retire into some wilderness in southern Italy, where he spent his last years. For the second time he had refused to become a bishop. He died on October 6, 1101.

Only a few have the kind of vocation that St. Bruho had. But even living and working in the world, we could learn from St. Bruno that quietness is important to find God. Our world is very noisy and it is difficult to experience the inner peace only God can give.

Maybe St. Bruno tells us today to look for oases of quietness in this busy world in order to find God. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you create “oases” of quietness in this noisy world in order to find God?

Lord, You often went to the mountains to be alone with God. Help me to follow Your example and that of St. Bruno’s so that I will draw closer to You and listen to Your word attentively.



BELIEVE, BEHAVE, BELONG – St. Paul was an honest man. Today, he talks about his former way of life in Judaism, and how he persecuted the Church beyond measure. More than being honest, he was also sincere in his search for the truth. When he found it, he capitulated and changed his behavior.

One who actively works against a group or institution definitely does not belong. By his own admission, Saul, as he was known then, tried to destroy the group that he found no reason to believe in and belong to. Mental health, according to Scott Peck, is the constant, consistent and passionate commitment and dedication to the truth. That makes Paul’s acknowledgment and acceptance of the truth speak well of his capacity and openness to change-inducing truth.

Martha and Mary were sisters who were friendly and familiar to the Lord. Both received the truth that their guest brought to their household, but in different ways. One sat down by the Lord and savored every word, every thought He uttered. The other was up and about, busy with hospitality matters. Mary savored the truth by listening intently. Martha savored the truth by taking good care of the Messenger.

No matter what others say about Martha’s well-meaning complaint, I admire her as much as I admire her sister for two reasons: First, in the Church, pastors like us need a sympathetic audience to validate, affirm and encourage us. We priests are encouraged whenever we find a congregation that accords us with what public speakers refer to as audience sympathy.

Secondly, everybody knows that we priests do need the likes of Martha who do all the background but equally necessary work to advance evangelization. We need both hearers and doers.

In the end, the question is no longer a toss-up between Mary and Martha. Mary chose the better part, yes, but both chose to believe and behave each in her own way — and belong. Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTION: With whom can you relate more — to Martha or to Mary?

Dearest God, help me to serve You according to how You have wired me as a human being. Amen.



October 6, 2015

Tuesday of the 27th Week in the Ordinary Time B

Jonah 3:1-10, Lk 10:38-42

Martha and Mary – Action with Dedication

Martha and Mary are two characters which complement each other in one’s relationship to Jesus. One has to keep the right balance of these two aspects in one’s relationship to Jesus. Only then can one’s dedication and commitment to him become active and fruitful.

A good plan or a good idea needs efficient engagement in order to realize it. Without physical effort ideas cannot take concrete forms. In the same way, whatever may be the works, they are meaningful only in relation to the concept or plan to which they try to give shape. Only in view of the plan can the efforts be carried out purposefully.

When Jesus said to Martha that she was concerned about many things and Mary has chosen the one thing that is necessary, he was trying to show the right balance that is required for following him as disciples. The “one thing” needed for a disciple is undivided attention and commitment Jesus. The disciple should meet Jesus in a unique manner in the depths of his/her heart. Meeting Jesus in the cave of one’s heart is like the discovery of a hidden treasure. It justifies the apparent inaction of contemplation, as in the case of Maria.

Every discovery has a gratuitous nature. Human efforts are rewarded with a surprise which surpasses the efforts themselves. In the meeting with Jesus in contemplation the disciple is gifted as a surprise with the source of joy which flows forth as enthusiasm and energy to action. It is this experience of joy that turns Maria into Martha, who gets engaged in her actions of love and service. But Jesus would warn Martha that she should not be so preoccupied with action that she forgets contemplation, the source of grace and inner energy.

Christian discipleship is characteristically a movement, that is, following Jesus, walking with him, moving with him. It is like undergoing a process of becoming, a process of growing into maturity. The disciple has to attain the perfection of the Master – Jesus who is the model of imitation. When Jesus says: “I am the way, the truth and the life,” he means to say that the disciple should undertake a pilgrimage in view of the fullness of life ahead of him. Martha and Mary represent the disciple’s moving (action) as well as living (contemplation) with Jesus.  Dr. Sebastian Elavathingal CMI



Prayer Is the Lifeblood of My Relationship with Jesus

October 6, 2015 (readings)

Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Father James Swanson, LC

Luke 10:38-42

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the master of the universe, and yet you wish to listen to me and guide me. You know all things past, present and future, and yet you respect my freedom to choose you. Holy Trinity, you are completely happy and fulfilled on you own, and yet you have generously brought us into existence. You are our fulfillment. Thank you for the gift of yourself. I offer the littleness of myself in return, knowing you are pleased with what I have to give.

Petition: Lord, help me to learn how to pray better.

  1. “More Things Are Wrought By Prayer Than This World Dreams of”:Many good people see prayer as a weak thing that really doesn’t help. So they put their effort into doing great projects, into doing as much as they can to bring about good in the world. This is a good thing. But prayer is essential. Even if I manage to involve thousands of others in my project, I will still not accomplish as much as when I get God involved. Getting God involved through prayer is the first and the most important thing to do if we are going to accomplish anything. As King Arthur says to Sir Bedivere in Tennyson’sMorte d’Arthur, “More things are wrought by prayer/ Than this world dreams of.”
  2. Persevere in Prayer with Love:Many critics of prayer complain that they pray a lot, but it doesn’t seem to do any good. Well, there are a couple of things to say about that. First of all, there needs to be love for God in my heart. God needs to be someone familiar to me, a friend. In asking for a favor, I expect to get a greater response from someone I know, someone who is close to me, than from a stranger. Imagine if there was someone I barely knew, and the only time I saw him was when he needed a favor from me. Would I be inclined to give him what he needs? Second, I need to persevere. Like the Canaanite woman who asked Jesus to cure her daughter, I have to persevere in prayer when things are difficult. Her perseverance increased her faith, and in the end it got her what she wanted. If I persevere in prayer with love, I will get all that I need.
  3. Cooperate with God’s Plan Instead of Insisting on Your Own:I need to remember that every prayer has its effect. How often am I disappointed when I don’t get what I’m asking for? Am I open enough in my prayer to let God work as he wants; to follow his plan and not mine? Do I force him to refuse my request by making it so narrow that there is no way to incorporate it into his plan? Even if I don’t see the results of my prayer, that doesn’t mean God is not listening. God always rises to the occasion and will often do something a lot better than what I wanted him to do. He does what is best for me, even if it does not entirely conform to my plan. I may never know or realize – in this life – the specifics of how God listened to my prayers. It takes faith to accept this.

Conversation with Christ: Dear Lord, whatever project I undertake, help me to remember to start it with prayer, pray while I am doing it, and finish it with prayer. I want to be close to you like Mary. I want to serve you like Martha. Help me to find the right order and balance in my life.

Resolution: When I consider the biggest thing I am doing for God today, I will be sure to ask him in prayer to bless



October 04, 2016

REFLECTION:     The saint we are remembering today, Francis of Assisi, was one of the most joyful persons who ever lived on our planet Earth–and at the same time one of the most Christ-like and mortified followers of Christ. Which proves that joy and self-denial are meant to go together. Now, since our present Pope has chosen his papal name in honor of Francis, since he is obviously a man full of joy and since he often exhorts us to be more joyful, perhaps this is as good an opportunity as any to talk about Christian joy.

Entire books have been written on this subject, so we must choose among a vast array of topics connec­ted with joy. Let us concentrate today on one of the major sources of joy, a source easily accessible to anybody. And that is the topic of gratitude.

As demonstrated over and over again, it is impossible to be sad and grateful at the same time. Grateful people are joyful people. And gratitude can be learned, like any other habit. It just requires a bit of practice. Let us start in this simple way. Just before going to bed or just before going to sleep, let us think of three things which happened during the day and for which we are grateful.



See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Tuesday of the 27th Week of the Year

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