21 July 2019. (16º O T)
The gospel this week reminds us of Jesus’ visit at Bethany to the house of his friends Martha and Mary. Each with their way of being and a different character: Marta is active, restless, concerned that the Lord lacks nothing; a good housewife. On the other hand, Mary seems to be a quieter woman, closer to dealing directly with people, less concerned with material things. Instead of lending a helping hand, she sits down to listen to what Jesus is saying. And, as would seem correct, Marta complains that her sister did not helping her. Then Jesus, full of delicacy, reminds her “only one thing is necessary: Mary has chosen the better part”.
The same Jesus who recently spoke to us of the need to interact with our neighbour, to have an attitude of service to others, of the importance of charity, today he speaks of the importance of listening and prayer. These must be two attitudes that complement one another. The faith and works that the apostle St. James spoke about.
No one can give what he does not have. If we do not have an attitude of listening to know what God wants from us, we can hardly give a demonstration of love and charity that does not remain pure philanthropy. The follower of Jesus has to rely on these two pillars: prayer and charity. The inner life and commitment to our neighbour. The Lord Jesus did not take important decisions without first withdrawing to the mountain to pray and listen to the will of the Father.
I recall a phrase I read a while ago and I liked: “If God listens to us, a problem is solved. But if we listen to God, an entire life is resolved”.
Juan Ramón Gómez Pascual, cmf