Reflection on the Gospel of Luke 10:38-42: Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, July 17, 2022

Gospel of Luke 10:38-42

As Jesus and his disciples went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Let us Pray                                                                                                                                       Friends in Christ,
God invites us to hold the needs of our sisters and brothers
as dear to us as our own needs.
Loving our neighbors as ourselves,
we offer our thanksgivings and our petitions
on behalf of the church and the World.  This we pray in your Name. Amen

In life today we often wrongly let the urgent take priority over that which is truly important. Sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to His Word is the one thing necessary in life. By sitting at Jesus’ feet, Mary shows that all our work and feelings ought to be grounded in a lively personal relationship with him.  Following Christ means becoming like Martha and Mary, generous and loving God. These are mutually reinforcing, as is the two sisters’ relationship with each other. Getting our priorities right is what this gospel tells us. The story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10 can teach us about getting our priorities right. Mary “chose the good part,” and we can too. In this story, Martha welcomed Jesus into her home. There’s a big difference between challenging someone and welcoming Him. Luke wants us to ask ourselves, “Do I put Jesus to the test, or do I welcome Him into my life?” In last week’s gospel, the lawyer cites the two great commandments, to love God and to love our neighbor, but the emphasis, through the parable of the Good Samaritan, is on love for our neighbor. In this story, we see an example of what it means to love God, as Mary sits at Jesus’ feet. If we only had the story of the Good Samaritan, we might allow service for God to take precedence over devotion to God. But the story of Mary shows us that devotion to God must be the basis of all our service for Him. Worship must underpin our work.

Why is sitting at Jesus’ feet so important and a necessary thing? Listening to the word of God provides us with His wisdom that we need for all of life’s decisions and directions. Not only does God’s Word give us the wisdom that leads to salvation and the understanding we need to grow in godliness. It gives us the perspective we need to face life’s trials, including death. The Word promises us hope in the midst of our trials and hope beyond the grave. So, is it any wonder that when Mary sat listening to the word of the Lord, Jesus said that she was doing the one thing necessary.  By listening to the word puts us in communion with the living Lord of heaven and earth. We need to remember that the point of spending time in the Word and in prayer is not so that we can check it off on our Goals Chart. The point is to meet with the Lord, to commune with Him as Mary did, as we sit at His feet, listening to His word. Another important item is that his word helps put life’s pressures in proper perspective. It is so easy to allow the pressures of life to crowd in on us and get our focus in the wrong place. We can even think, “If I take the time to spend with the Lord, all the demands on my time will only stack up higher!” But a few minutes spent in the Word and in prayer can lift the burden and give us the Lord’s calm, clear perspective, even though our circumstances have not changed. As Mary found out the better part is sitting and listening.  You can lose your job, your money, your possessions, and even friendships. Remember nothing, not even death itself or demonic powers, can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!

So why don’t we sit at Jesus’ feet more often? There are many reasons today such as we are too busy with urgent demands, we get easily distracted by worries, we also might not be fully comfortable in our believes. So, hopefully we are motivated to spend time consistently sitting at Jesus’ feet. You need to realize and be aware of the hindrances that need to be overcome and resisted in order to do it. Today Jesus asks each of us:  What takes priority in your life?  One way to answer this question is to ask ourselves:  How do I use my time? Do I fritter it away? Do I work long hours each day? Am I involved in activities I enjoy? Do I spend quality time with the people I care about? Do I make time for prayer and spend time with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit? How we answers these questions may give us some insight into our lives.  In our busy and distracting world, it is easy to get off-track.   Today Jesus is inviting us to come away and spend time with Him.   What a wonderful invitation!  Today will we accept His invitation, or will we ignore it because we are too busy?

Let us Pray:  Ever-faithful God,
whose being is perfect righteousness:
reconcile us in your Son with the helpless and the needy,
with those we would ignore or oppress,
and with those we have called enemies,
that we may serve all people as your hands of love,
and sit at the feet of those
who need our compassionate care. Amen.

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