"The Lord in reply said to her: 'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and upset about many things; one thing only is required. Mary has chosen the better portion and she shall not be deprived of it.' " —Luke 10:41-42
In Luke's Gospel, loving God with all our hearts and our neighbor as ourselves is often a matter of offering hospitality. That's what the Good Samaritan did for the man who fell prey to robbers (Lk 10:34-35). Hospitality was how Martha showed her love to Jesus (Lk 10:38). Luke teaches that hospitality is one of the most important expressions of love.
After extolling the merits of hospitality, Luke hits us with the revelation that there is something even better. The portion better than hospitality is sitting at the Lord's feet and listening to His words (Lk 10:39). Listening to Jesus' words is the ultimate, the key to the meaning of life, the most awesome privilege possible for human beings.
Do you listen to the Lord throughout the day? Do you set a time each day when you focus on listening to the Lord? Are you overjoyed to hear Jesus' voice? (Jn 3:29) "By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your strength lies" (Is 30:15). Listen to the still, small voice of God (1 Kgs 19:12). Jesus is God's beloved Son. "Listen to Him" (Mk 9:7).
Prayer: Father, Your words are "spirit and life" (Jn 6:63). May I listen accordingly.
Promise: "I am the Resurrection and the Life: whoever believes in Me, though he should die, will come to life; and whoever is alive and believes in Me will never die." —Jn 11:25-26
Praise: St. Martha exercised both her gift of hospitality and her ability to listen and trust in her Lord.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Hearing God or our tape on audio AV 45-1 or video V-45.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 4, 2008
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