Reflection for July 17, 2022 – 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 18, 2022 | By Bishop Roy E. Campbell, Jr.

“Martha welcomed him. Mary has chosen the better part.”

The Pastor’s Thoughts!

Martha and Mary were sisters who met Jesus and responded to the call of His very presence in very different ways. Martha immediately sprang into action to serve the needs of Jesus and His disciples. However, Mary was intent on resting at the feet of Jesus and listening to what He had to say. Mary was responding to our Lord’s call to discipleship, by listening to Him at His feet. Martha responded to the presence of our Lord and His call, by immediate action.

When Martha complained that Mary left her alone to serve everyone, Jesus told her not to be so anxious. He told her that Mary had chosen the better part. Jesus did not tell Martha that she had chosen the wrong part, just that Mary had chosen the better part.

How do we respond to Jesus’ call? Jesus calls each of us to be His disciple. He calls us to follow Him and to continue His work in the world today. Jesus calls us to be like Him, to be the Good Samaritan we heard about in last Sunday’s Gospel. When we first listen to Jesus’ call, we learn in our hearts what it is that we need to do to care for one another, wherever we find each other.

When Jesus called on Martha and Mary, Martha immediately sprang into action. On the other hand, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and just listened to what He had to say. Martha was too busy for her own good. Some of us, like Martha, mistakenly judge our worth and importance by the number of things we must do.

We may not hear Jesus’ invitation to come apart and rest awhile with Him, to sit at His feet. We forget the wisdom that if we, as Christians, do not come apart and rest awhile with Him, then we may simply come apart from anxiety. If we are too busy to pray, we are too busy! God speaks to us in prayer, but we can only hear Him, when we take the time to listen.

How can we know what He wants us to do if we don’t listen to what He’s telling us? Jesus always tells us what we need to do for ourselves, as well as what to do for others. Jesus said: “Seek first the kingdom of God and everything else you need will be given to you.” Like Mary, let us seek first to hear God’s voice. Then, like Martha, we can “spring into action,” following the Lord, who leads us to do His will in serving others.

– Bishop Roy Campbell

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