Column from parish bulletin

Dear Believers in Jesus,

We listen to very familiar story in Luke’s (10:38-42) gospel today. Martha and Mary vey for Jesus’ attention. Martha is anxious about getting household chores finished since Jesus is their guest. Mary wants simply to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his life and wisdom.

This story has always been a witness to the contemplative life, that a life of prayer is greater than an active life. This story has in the history of the Church guided people to monastic life rather than an apostolic community. However, this story really is the combination of prayer and service for all Christians.

I have written and spoken many times about the link of prayer and service. This is the mission of the Church. There is no way to unlink these two elements of common, liturgical prayer and the people of God being sent into the world to make something happen.

I was taught in graduate school to always link the two, to move out into the world and do something. I still hold on to this teaching that this story tries to link together. Our prayer becomes limp and lifeless if we do not put into practice our call to help people. The real needs of people become the mission of our prayer to put love, forgiveness and hope into practice.

Martha and Mary are icons of the mission of the Church. Especially in this Year of Mercy, we listen attentively to the words of Jesus, to find the consolation and healing of Jesus’ Real Presence. We also go out into our lives, to put this love to work, to offer others the consolation and forgiveness into practice. The world needs God’s love. The world needs the mercy that we put into practice in our workplaces, schools and homes.

In these summer months, I hope you will have time to sit at the feet of Jesus. Rest awhile. Pray in silence. Contemplate your place in the love Jesus has for you. Make sure rest in part of these hot, summer days. Find a place along a hillside to rest. Pray in your back yard. Hike and pray. Sit. Be. Offer your life to God in the silence of your heart.

Also, I hope that you may reflect upon how you serve God. Reflect on your gifts and talents and see how you can offer those gifts to people in our world, neighborhood and family. Be in the Church. Do something. Live something. Offer something. Witness to God and let your life be lived for the good.

In your prayer time this week, here is a litany to help you sit at the feet of Jesus and to put his mercy into practice.

LITANY OF MARTHA AND MARY:

Reflection on Mary:

Response: Help me sit at your feet, O Lord.

Jesus, I sit at your feet longing for your presence…

Jesus, I sit at your feet and hope you will listen to me…

Jesus, I sit at your feet and offer you my pain and disappointments…

Jesus, I sit at your feet and speak the truth of my life…

Jesus, I sit at your feet and feel your consolation in my heart…

 

Jesus, I rest my suffering in your love…

Jesus, I rest my stubbornness in your gaze toward me…

Jesus, I rest my fear in your saving heart…

Jesus, I rest my grief in your passion and death…

Jesus, I rest my guilt in your kind words for me…

 

Jesus, I pray in silence and you hear me…

Jesus, I pray in stillness and you care for me…

Jesus, I pray in calm and you give me rest…

Jesus, I pray in quiet and you give me hope…

Jesus, I pray in peace and you offer me healing…

Reflection on Martha:

Response: Help me serve you, O Lord

 Jesus, you send me into a live of service…

Jesus, you send me to mend relationships…

Jesus, you send me to heal the past…

Jesus, you send me to offer my life to others…

Jesus, you send me to offer peace…

 

Jesus, you call me to serve those most in need…

Jesus, you call me to heal the sick…

Jesus, you call me to proclaim freedom to captives…

Jesus you call me to live the message of love to all…

Jesus, you call me to bring hope to the downtrodden…

 

Jesus, you challenge me to proclaim Good News…

Jesus, you challenge me to attend to people in poverty…

Jesus, you challenge me to serve without cost…

Jesus, you challenge me to risk my life and faith for other people…

Jesus, you challenge me to extend my heart and hands in a service of love…

Blessings to you all this week,

Fr. Ron

 

 

 

 

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