Fr. John Puodziunas
Assumption BVM Province

The Lord be with you.

And with your spirit.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.

Glory to you O Lord.

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me." The Lord said to her in reply, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only 1 thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her."

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.

The house was magnificent, many visits and much time spent in a very formal living room and even more in the formal dining room, with fine china and crystal and grandiose meals and great drink, very impressive! But you know you've made it when you get to visit in the kitchen. Not in the formal dining room. For there you realize that it's not about the decor or the food, it's really about the people and spending time with people. In today's familiar story about Martha and Mary, Martha is busy with many things of hospitality, making sure everything is right. Just so. And perfect it is. Mary, on the other hand, simply sits with the guest Jesus, being present to him. Is this not the core of hospitality? Allowing someone to step into your life, to give them time, to make them feel like, at that moment, they are the most important person in the world. That's what Mary does and we are told that she has chosen the better part. Have you ever had the experience when you're sitting with family and friends that someone breaks out their cell phone and begins to make or take a phone call, or they start texting. Away they go with those thumbs going away. You clearly are not the most important person in that person's life at that moment. The challenge is for us to allow people to step into our lives, to allow them to interrupt us to change us, for a moment, to make them feel as if though they are the most important person in our lives. This too is the challenge for faith filled Christians. As we see with Mary in the gospel, she allows Jesus to step into her life. Sure, we are busy. There is much that we must be busy about. Important things that we must do. And we don't like to be disturbed, we don't want to be interrupted. We don't like to have our routine changed. Allowing Jesus in will change us, will change our focus, change our purpose, change our vision, our work, our very lives. Gospel hospitality is not about what we do, what food we can put on the table or how big of a spread we can have. It's about how we be with others, with ourselves, with our God. It's about allowing the other and God to step into our lives knowing full well that this intrusion will change us and we are told in this gospel this is the better part.

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