Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Luke 10:38-42 Listening, and then Doing

Sixteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.  She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.  Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?  Tell her to help me.” 

Lord, do you not care?  What a question!  Of course the Lord cares!!!  And if anyone ever had the right to ask such a direct question, it would have been the Lord, not Martha.  Martha, do you really care? 

Now the Lord wasn’t disturbed that Martha was working hard.  I’m sure He was very grateful to her for preparing everything for Him:  the meal, the table (?), and the ambient.  But what must have bothered Jesus more than anything else, was Martha’s insistence that Mary get up and leave Him.  That’s when He got a little impatient with her.  How could anyone demand such a thing? 

Lord, do you not care?  How can we avoid asking such a question to the Lord?  What can we do? 

By sitting next to the Lord, what Mary was effectively doing was praying to God.  She was listening.  This is essentially what prayer is:  listening.  That’s why prayer is essential.  That’s why we all need to pray.  Even the Lord prayed.  If we do not pray, then we will be busy bees but not necessarily effective or efficient bees. 

Martha is a busy bee.  She gets things done.  She’s a doer, but not much of a listener.  Are you the same way?  I am!  I’m not very good at listening by any stretch of the imagination.  I hate to say it, but it’s true.  Are you the same way?  If you are, then chances are you’re not good at praying either. 

I like to stay busy because it occupies my time and my thoughts.  I find it easier to do than to listen to people. 

According to a fascinating infographic entitled “How Social Media is Ruining Our Minds,” over the course of the last ten years the average attention span has dropped from 12 minutes to a staggeringly short 5 minutes.    

I’m not a good listener, but I wish I were.  I need to work on it.  I know I can be better at it.  How?  By praying more.  Yes, by praying!

From what I can gather, Martha must have had a “Type A” personality.  You know, someone who says a lot and apologizes a lot?  That’s Martha.  That’s a lot of us.  She’s always shooting off some smart aleck remark. 

Mary on the other hand, must have had a “Type B” personality.  She reflected before she spoke; before she reacted; before she let loose with her tongue.  How did she become like that?  She prayed.  Prayer helped Mary to see beyond the immediate needs.

In general, kids don’t like to go to Church because they don’t like to listen.  They don’t like to go to Church because they like to get things done.  But instead of getting things done they're undoing a lot of things that were nicely done.  I don’t need to get into it.  You know what I mean.

Mary chose the better part, and it was not about to be taken away from her.  Allow the Lord to sit down with you.  Allow Him to speak to you.  Allow yourself some time to listen.

Mary has chosen the better part.  Christ told Martha that Mary had chosen the better part.  He didn’t tell her it was the best part.  He said it was the “better part.” 

It’s good to serve the Lord, but it’s even better to first listen to Him.  But the best part of all is to be another Christ. 

St. Paul writes of this to the Colossians:  “My dear brothers and sisters, I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the Church, of which I am a minister…to bring to completion for you the word of God, the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past.  But now it has been manifested to his holy ones, to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of his mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory” (Lk 10:38-42).

My dear friends, this is the best part!

Pope Francis is not an actor.  He is an authentic man.  It is Christ in Him.  He is living today as he lived yesterday.  He listens, and then decides.  As one church observer wrote:  “Pope Francis is a Jesuit…They listen to people.  They don’t decide immediately.  They want to know everything.  At the end of the day, they make a decision.”

The Pope listens well because he prays well. 

Let’s take some time in the morning to pray before work.  Maybe this way we’ll stop undoing the good works that were done before us.


  1. Okay, yes, the pope indeed appears to be a good man. But just how long will he sit and reflect on the corruption at the Vatican? His comments regarding the corruption were not promising. We are all so in love with his examples of humility and his wise words, but is he someone who is willing to stand in the crossfire and clear out the garbage at the Vatican? Jesus immediately threw a fit at the temple with the money changers and I would like to know how He would react to the corruption at the Vatican. Yes, Pope Francis did indeed admit there is a problem, but his words were, "We need to see what we can do......" Really?!?! We need to SEE what we can do? Doesn't sound promising. Did Jesus tell Martha, "I will see what I can do about Mary?" No! We don't know how Martha reacted to his words, but I imagine she may have gotten a little perturbed with the whole situation, as would many of us who feel like no one cares that we are running around like crazy preparing for a big event, or whatever, while our spouse and children are lying around watching tv and playing on their smartphones. I must admit, my gut tells me we know as much about Pope Francis as we know about Obama, and this truly freaks me out!!!

    ...So frustrated.....

  2. "We need to see what we can do......"

    Can you supply me with the news article. I'd like to read it in its entirety. It seems to conflict with other statements and actions he has taken in the first 100 days in office.

  3. Sorry, I posted this on the wrong day. I know we can't believe everything we read, but this is all too disturbing.

  4. Anonymous 1:
    1) What specific Vatican corruption are you referring to?
    2) Why do you think we know as little about Pope Francis as we do about Obama?
    3) Jesus upheld Mary as a role model for having chosen the "better part." There was nothing about Mary's behavior in that passage that required correction. Why are you comparing Mary's behavior/choice, which was praised by the Lord, to an accusation of corruption?

    1. The link to the article is posted above. Again, it is an article by a reporter and I pray he is exaggerating. I also believe there is much to learn about who Jorge Bergoglio is. We can clearly see how humble he is, which is a beautiful example for us. I also pray that by his leading by example, many hearts may have the desire for conversion. I understand the scripture reading and would hope if I were in the story that I would be the Mary figure. But as the blog reads, many of us are not good listeners (Martha) and are better at being busy bodies. I certainly didn't compare Mary to corruption and I'm sorry if it sounded that way. I believe Jesus was quite happy that Martha wanted to serve him in such a wonderful way, and I'm sure he treated her with great compassion, but I believe his message for us is how important the Word of God is, and wants us to be like Mary in that we must keep the Word close to our hearts always. :)
      anon 1

  5. Well, I just finished reading the article. It seems to me that the author is reading way too much from one comment. From everything else I have read, the Pope is taking things very seriously and is doing all that is necessary in a smart way. I personally like the fact that he was honest enough to admit that there are saints working at the Vatican and some that are not.

    1. Thank you for reading the article and posting this. Again, I don't want to believe everything I read, but this has the potential to be such a horrific scandal. I trust your judgement Father. Mother Mary, pray for us!

  6. The article was written in a rather inflammatory style and seems a bit hysyerical. I find it curious that the author seems loathe to extend any kind of benefit of the doubt to the Holy Father's intentions. I also did not like the author using a derogatory term to refer to people with SSA--betrays a lack of charity. I much preferred Jimmy Akin's analysis of the situation:

    1. I read this article posted by JA a few weeks ago..... It's just so hard to know what to believe. As Fr. Alfonse said above, it should be appreciated that Pope Francis did admit to the bad. (And the good as well.) Unfortunately us sinful humans oversee the Church and the evil one will do his best to try to bring it down! And, he's using us as his tools. We must pray for one another, and especially for our priests and all religious of the Church! We have to fight the good fight, and did I say PRAY?!!
      Anon 1


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