Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.”
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
My four year old grandson came for a sleepover last week and around 5:15am stood wide-eyed at my bedside, ever so gently shook my arm to awaken me with a whisper, “Listen, Amma, the birds are speaking”!
“Listen, Amma”! Listen. What a key message this is in Luke’s passage from today’s Gospel where we picture Mary sitting beside the Lord listening to him speak. Jesus tells us she has her priorities right. Mary gets it. For distracted, anxious, worried Martha busy with serving, this was a teachable moment. Jesus uses her name twice, perhaps the first time just to get her attention, the second time to draw her unto himself. I don’t think that Jesus was telling Martha not to serve, rather he was teaching her how to serve with a listening heart. St. Ignatius would say he taught how to be a “contemplative in action”.
What have been the teachable moments in the past months for you? When have you heard the Master speaking?
Last week God spoke to me through a precious little boy who reminded me to “Listen, Amma”.
—Mary McKeon is a retreat master and spiritual director at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, in Barrington, IL.
Teach Me To Listen
Teach me to listen, O God, to those nearest me, my family, my friends, my co-workers.
Help me to be aware that no matter what words I hear, the message is, “Accept the
person I am. Listen to me.”
Teach me to listen, my caring God, to those far from me– the whisper of the hopeless, the plea of the forgotten, the cry of the anguished.
Teach me to listen, O God my Mother, to myself. Help me to be less afraid to trust the voice inside — in the deepest part of me.
Teach me to listen, Holy Spirit, for your voice — in busyness and in boredom, in certainty and doubt, in noise and in silence.
Teach me, Lord, to listen.
—Adapted by John Veltri, SJPlease share the Good Word with your friends!