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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Sunday 16th (C) in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Gen 18:1-10a): The Lord appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre, as he sat in the entrance of his tent, while the day was growing hot. Looking up, Abraham saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them; and bowing to the ground, he said: «Sir, if I may ask you this favor, please do not go on past your servant. Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet, and then rest yourselves under the tree. Now that you have come this close to your servant, let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves; and afterward you may go on your way». The men replied, «Very well, do as you have said».

Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah, «Quick, three measures of fine flour! Knead it and make rolls». He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer, and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it. Then Abraham got some curds and milk, as well as the steer that had been prepared, and set these before the three men; and he waited on them under the tree while they ate. They asked Abraham, «Where is your wife Sarah?». He replied, «There in the tent». One of them said, «I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have a son».
Responsorial Psalm: 14
R/. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
One who walks blamelessly and does justice; who thinks the truth in his heart and slanders not with his tongue.

Who harms not his fellow man, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; by whom the reprobate is despised, while he honors those who fear the Lord.

Who lends not his money at usury and accepts no bribe against the innocent. One who does these things shall never be disturbed.
2nd Reading (Col 1:24-28): Brothers and sisters: Now 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 in accordance with God's stewardship given to me 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 this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory. It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.
Versicle before the Gospel (Cf. Lk 8:15): Alleluia. Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 10,38-42): As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, He entered a village and a woman called Martha welcomed him to her house. She had a sister named Mary who sat down at the Lord's feet to listen to his words. Martha, meanwhile, was busy with all the serving and finally she said, «Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do all the serving?». But the Lord answered, «Martha, Martha, you worry and are troubled about many things, whereas only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from her».

«Only one thing is needed»

Fr. Bernat GIMENO i Capín (Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we can see a divine as well as a human Jesus: He is tired of his journey and lets this Bethania family He loves so much welcome him. He will take advantage of this moment to let us know “what matters the most”.

In the attitude of these two sisters we can detect two different ways of living the Christian vocation: the active and contemplative life. Mary «who sat down at the Lord's feet», while Martha was busying herself with plenty of chores and all the serving, always happy, but tired (cf. Lk 10:39-40-42). —«Easy», Jesus tells her, «you worry and are troubled about many things, but you must have a rest, and even more, you must rest by my side, looking at me, listening to me». Two different models of Christian life we must coordinate and integrate: to live Marta's way as much as Mary's way. We have to be attentive to Lord's word, and, at the same time, alert for, more often than not, the noise and daily bustle may hide God's presence. Because a Christian's life and strength can only stay firm and grow if he maintains close ties with the true vine, where his life, his love, his yearning to go on... an not looking back, come from.

Most of us have been called by God to be like “Martha”. But, we should not forget that the Lord wants us to be more and more like “Mary” too: Jesus Christ has also called us “to choose the best part” and to let no one take it from us.

He reminds us that the most important is not what we can do, but God's word, that lightens our lives by impregnating our works and deeds with the Holy Spirit’s love.

To rest in the Lord is only possible if we can enjoy the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Prayer before the sacrarium!: it is the greatest treasure we Christians have. Let us remember the name of John Paul II's last encyclical: The Church lives from Eucharist. Our Lord has many things to tell us, many more than we think. Let us, therefore, seek those moments of silence and peace, to help us find Jesus again and, in him, to find ourselves once more. Jesus Christ invites us today to take an option: to choose «the better part» (Lk 10:42).