Sunday, July 21, 2019

Homily for 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Slow down, you move too fast...Life I love you; feeling groovy.

Anyone feeling groovy today; I hope so.  This Simon & Garfunkel song can be a reminder to all of us that life is busy, too busy and sometime we need to slow down.  For many of us we can get a little obsessed with "doing".  Being too busy can lead to anxiety and exhaustion and possibly missing out on what's really important.

As people of faith are we sometimes too busy; are we anxious and worried about many things; do we miss out on what's really important?

Perhaps this is what Jesus was talking about in today's Gospel.  Jesus, on his long journey to Jerusalem to face His Passion, Death and Resurrection arrives at Bethany and the home of his friends, sisters Martha and Mary and their brother Lazarus.  Jesus must have enjoyed this brief visit along the way and surely appreciated the welcome and hospitality shown by his friends.  Martha was very busy being about all the chores while Mary clung to her friend Jesus and his every word.  So overwhelmed by "doing" Martha begs Jesus to tell Mary to help her.  Jesus responds in a way that seems like a rebuke of Martha; he did not compel Mary to help her and instead tells Martha that she is anxious and worried about many things.  Jesus continues by telling Martha that sister Mary has chosen the better part.

Was Jesus condemning housework and chores; of course not.  The lesson for Martha that day, and for all of us today, is to be fully aware of what is most important; the very presence of Jesus in our midst.  Isn't it true sometimes that we have Jesus right in front of us and we are worried about those darn chores and many things? Have we ever come to Mass and considered that Jesus will be fully present to us right now, in His Word and and His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, but we are anxious and worried about many things?  Is Mass going to last a whole hour today?  I have so much to do when I get home?

Slow down, don't move so fast.  Instead partake of the better part.  Jesus said Mary chose the better part.  What did she do?  She simply put her priority on Jesus; afterall Jesus began to speak and teach and Mary rested at his feet to take in not only every word of her friend and Master but His very presence.  Of course at Mass, if we truly lay aside all of our distractions, we too can rest at his feet, choosing the better part, clinging to His very Word and His Real Presence among us.  But what about beyond Mass?  When Adoration and Benediction is available, do we lay aside our busy-ness and come rest at His feet, choosing the better part?  How about simply finding some time to step into any Catholic Church, when all is still and quiet, and just rest with Him?  At our homes can we not create a space among our chores and clutter to go and be at peace with Him?

In the week between our Sunday obligations how much time, among our everything else, do we spend in prayer, reading some Scripture or other devotional readings?  How much time do I just sit still, in silence, letting God be God?  How often, week to week, have I chosen the better part?
Slow down, you move to fast.

Lord, I choose the better part and all is groovy!

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