16th Sunday Ordinary Time 20 JUL 19


We have all been there haven’t we?  In Martha’s shoes…

Working to make things right.

Struggling, sweating and busting our butts to get things perfect for someone else to enjoy.

And someone who we expected and planned on helping did not show up for the task.

To heck with it we say….

Next time they can do it themselves…..

A growing resentment….

Finally it bursts…we can’t stand it any longer….

Out it comes……

Next time you want something….it will be a cold day….before I show up.

This story has always gotten my goat a little bit…..

You see I understand Martha….

In fact I sympathize with her often.

Yet the Gospel stands with it’s truth and kind of gives us a perverbial slap in the face.

Be careful that you do all that you do, not for your own recognition, but for the nobel purpose for which you began….to stand in service to someone else for their benefit.

A few weeks back, I came home from work.  A particularly stressful day at the prison.  Lots of drama and confusion and fear.  I was not present to where I was or what I was doing.

Little Miss Teagan, followed me from the car door to the kitchen table and the entire time had been talking, to which I had given only minimal responses.  Finally, she stood in the middle of the Kitchen, put her hand on her hips….said in a rather stern voice…..Papa!

I turned on a dime and looked at her.  She proceeded to say:

When I am talking I expect you to look at me!

Very similar to Jesus’ words to Martha…….you are busy about many things…but you forgot…the most important are the relationships of those right in front of us.

It is easy in our lives to lose sight of what is most important, because many things are important.

The challenge is to figure out what is most important.

I do not have the answer or the formula.

I do have a lot of experience in the mistakes I have made and continue to make.

But there in lies the continued challenge.

Sometimes, we must be busy doing the things we do…and we are challenged to remember why we are doing them.

But ultimately our lives are about relationship…with each other and with our God.

Houses still need to be cleaned, dishes still need to be done, laundry will not do itself.  Yet in all these things and the million others that confront us we have to remember that our relationship with God is the ultimate goal of our lives.

My friend Fr. Paul Feela preached what I have experienced as one of the most impactful homilies I have ever heard.  It was in the midst of finals at the seminary, everyone was cranky, tired, irratible, he read this Gospel…..and I will leave you with his entire homily.  He said:

Life my friends is very short.

Eternity is long.

Think about it!

Gracious God, like Martha we can get very busy with the challenges and demands of our lives.  Help us for this hour, to stop, and listen and sing and pray and experience you in these moments. So that as we resume our tasks, we may know the ultimate reason we are doing them…that is to fall deeper in love with you.  We ask this in your name, one God for ever and ever.

Loving God, pour out your Spirit on these gifts, the work of our hands, and in the breaking of this bread and the sharing of these cups may we sit and gaze into your eyes to see and experience your love.  We ask this in your name, one God for ever and ever.

Gracious God, you have given us life, in order to discover you in one another.  May this week be one in which we challenge ourselves to discover you in every encounter, from dishes to driving, from work to home.  We long to see your face, help us to see you in each other.  One God for ever and ever. Amen