By Fr Francis Anthony
Sit at the Lord’s Feet and Listen to Him
At times it becomes difficult for us how we are to live our faith life. In the church and in the scriptures (if we do not understand, read it well) we can be confused. You will hear last week and we glorified the Good Samaritan because he went out of his way, did a lot of things to help that wounded man on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho.
And today, it is just the reverse. Again we have Martha who is very busy doing a lot of things to make sure Jesus is comfortable in her home. And she got irritated that her sister did not come to help and complained to Jesus and Jesus simply said, “Martha, you worry and fret about many things but few are needed. Only one.”
And what is the thing that is needed in today’s Gospel? It is sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to Him. It is not an either or. Have I be an activist and get involved in a lot of things or will I be a kind of a hermit? The faith life, it is a mixture of both and it is very well given to us in the Responsorial Psalm:-
Who shall dwell on your holy mountain?
Who is in a position to be able, to be one with You? Who shall dwell?
And the text here, we follow closely:-
He who walks without fault;
He who acts with justice;
Who speaks the truth from his heart.
And here is no more like the Samaritan doing a lot of things to bring favour or like Mary seated at the feet of Jesus and say, “Christ told us to listen.” These two blended together.
How are we to follow? And that is the challenge for us. After listening to the word of God, how do I live that word?
In the Good Samaritan episode, Jesus told the man, “Go and do likewise. Be a neighbour to another.” And here is it to be a neighbour, am I a just person? Yes, am I wronging my neighbour in one way or another through my envy, through my jealousy, through my anger? And am I a person who holds the godless in disdain? Am I helping others to come in the right path?
So my dear friends, today’s reading Jesus asking us to be vigilant. In the First Reading from the book of Genesis, you will see the anxiety of Abraham. The Lord appeared to him and three others, and if we look into the scriptures, we will say this is the Trinity but it is not spoken of but told:- The Lord appeared. The Jewish people believed in God. Trinity comes in only through Revelation of Jesus and a lot of symbolic manifestation of the Trinity in the Old Testament. Here there is one text:- The Lord appeared. There are three of them and Abraham went and bowed down. He did not know they were God. They were wayfarers but what was his attitude there? To serve those people on the journey. And he hurried and got the meals ready for him.
And in the Second Reading, from Colossians, Saint Paul is telling how God has revealed himself to his saints. The word used here ‘saints’ is not the Saints that you see around. In the New Testaments, the ‘saints’ refer to the people who were the followers of Christ, irrespective of whether they were Jews or Gentiles. How here it is revealed to his saints. A mystery which was hidden for many years.
And what is the revelation? And the text here says that Christ is among you. God is with us. And it is with the strength of this God in us we are able to do what the Responsorial Psalm is telling us to be able to walk without fault, act with justice and so forth.
So my dear friends, it is not a question “Is it my prayer life?” “Is it my active participation which is important” or try to come and confuse myself which is more important just because Christ said to Martha:- “She has taken the better path.” It is a blending of both given to us in the Psalms and let us, I’ll conclude with the Offertory Prayer that we are going to have:-
O God, who in the one perfect sacrifice (that Jesus offering his body and blood) brought to completion varied offerings of the law.
Christ’s offering completes all the offerings and that is what we are going to do symbolically offering the bread and wine and instead of things, the offerings of your collections. And then he goes further:-
Accept we pray this sacrifices from your faithful servants and make it holy.
Not just those things. We, who are offering, make us holy, make us special, make us different so that we will be able to walk in justice and reach out to the people who are in need.
Click below to listen to the homily and watch the video:-