Today, July 29th, marks the 49th year of my baptism in the Catholic Community. On this day, about 11 days after my birth, my god parents took me to my parish Church, St. John’s Parish in Winslow Maine. I am grateful for that moment of grace.
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Martha — disciple of Jesus, sister to Mary and Lazarus. We hear the story in the Gospel of Luke how Jesus visits Martha, Mary and Lazarus’ home. Martha is quite upset. She has been serving the meal, cleaning, getting things in order while her sister and brother listen to Jesus.
Jesus calms Martha down: Mary has chosen to listen to the Word . Come, join us.
Hmmm..Is this a slap on activists?
I don’t think so….this powerful story appears right after the parable of Jesus about the Good Samaritan. There, this outsider, a religious person, stops, heals, carries, and cares for a broken man. The priest and levite — certainly religious men — are in a hurry to go do their religious obligations but do not even “see” the half dead man….or are even in fear that if they touch this half dead man, then they will be ritually impure. The Good Samaritan stops. Connects his deeply held religious beliefs and acts on them: to heal the broken man in his path. He becomes his neighbor as he lives out the two fold commandments: Love God and Love Neighbor.
So too Jesus tells Martha…come listen as we break bread to share the good news. Hospitality is important, but come listen to the Good News of God’s love. Come connect ones love of neighbor with love of God.
In the reading for the Liturgy today, we proclaim from the First Letter of St. John that God is love, and we can only see and know God by the love we share with each other. God loved us first. We are called to continue that love….with each and every person in our path. Like the Good Samaritan. Like the love of Martha and Mary and Lazarus. Like the Love that IS God.
How does your baptismal call and experience form your understanding of the connection between love of God and love of Neighbor