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Our Radiant Light Side

It is Mary who has chosen the best part
Luke 10:38-42

Sermon Topic Listening

Sermon Week Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 10:42


One of the Old Testament passages frequently quoted in popular reference works is from the Book of Ecclesiastes. "There is a reason for everything," it begins, "a time for every occupation under Heaven:

A time for giving birth,
a time for dying;
A time for planting;
a time for uprooting what has been planted.

On and on it goes, listing twenty-eight different "times" for this and "times" for that, including,

A time for knocking down,
a time for building;
A time for tears,
a time for laughter" (Eccl. 3:1-4) ...and so on.

In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus makes an important addition to that list:

A time for listening. Luke tells us that "Jesus entered a village where a woman named Martha welcomed Him to her home. She had a sister named Mary who sat down at the Lord's feet and listened to Him speaking" (Lk. 10:39). Meanwhile, Martha was "distracted with all the serving" (Lk. 10:40). Here is the picture, then: Mary was sitting at Jesus' feet, intent on hearing everything this very special Guest had to say; Martha was busy fussing and fixing and straightening and preparing and, consequently, heard nothing Jesus was saying. And Martha left no doubt about her opinion on whether her activity or Mary's should have taken first priority. She took her case to Jesus, saying, "Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do all the serving by myself? Please tell her to help me" (Lk. 10:40). And it must have been a bit of a shock to Martha when she heard Jesus' answer:

Martha, Martha, you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part (Lk. 10:41-42).

Mary had chosen to listen!

The Martha and Mary story makes an important point for those of us who "worry and fret about so many things"...

We get so involved in what we are doing that often we forget why we are doing it.

We get so involved in our chosen lifestyle that often we forget why [...]

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