Reflection for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time…July 21, 2019 by Ann O’Connor, Notre Dame Associate
Jesus visits the house of Martha and Mary.
The Gospel this Sunday, the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, is the familiar story of Jesus visiting the home of Martha and Mary. In the reading, we hear that Martha was busy with the details of hospitality, while Mary sat at the feet of Jesus. Martha came to Jesus and said: “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” In reply, Jesus said to her: “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.”
This passage is relevant to many of us in today’s world. We often find ourselves with so many competing responsibilities and activities that we sometimes lose sight of what really is important in our lives. We, like Martha, become anxious and worried about things that do not bring us closer to God. Mary had recognized, at that moment, the important thing was to sit with Jesus. Martha, concerned about hospitality, had allowed that concern to become dominant, and as a result she missed the opportunity to be with Jesus.
Does this same thing happen to us in our lives? Do we, at times, become so focused on worldly things that we neglect to be conscious of God in our lives? Or do we fail to attend to our spiritual life? I believe the challenge for us in this hectic world is to be aware of God’s presence in our lives and, like Mary, pay attention.
Reflection for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time…July 14, 2019 by Kris Lanik, Notre Dame Associate
The Gospel reading includes the well-known parable of the Good Samaritan. It could just as well be called the parable of the Good Disciple.
The first thing is that the Good Samaritan is aware of the needs of others and responds immediately and generously. While the priest and Levite see the injured man on the side of the road, they intentionally walk past him. The Samaritan sees the injured man and springs into action. He does not just offer some quick words of encouragement from across the road. He sets aside his own plans. He goes right up to the stranger. He cleans and bandages his wounds. He puts the man on his own animal and takes him to an inn where he can heal. He makes certain that the innkeeper will continue to look after the stranger. He promises to return on his way back.
A good disciple springs into action when seeing someone in need. This is how we are to live out God’s commandments to love one another. And Jesus says to each of us “Go and do likewise.” This week, let’s roll up our sleeves. Let’s get to work seeing and serving those in need.
Today’s first reading begins: “Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her, all you who love her!” Isaiah then compares Jerusalem to a mother, carrying her nurslings, comforting her children. “When you see this, your heart shall rejoice and your bodies flourish like the grass; the Lord’s power shall be known to all.” So we are called to give praise to our God this day—our mother/father, our comforter, our companion for the prosperity given us as it was given to Jerusalem in the early days.
The call of today’s Gospel is to carry praise and joy to others. “Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The reign of God is at hand.’” Everything that God gives us, every gift we receive from God is for the other—certainly to rejoice that we have received the gift—but then to share it! That is what God is all about—relationship of giving. We are building God’s reign together! Rejoice!