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Sunday, July 21, 2019

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This Sunday's Gospel shows us Martha, who welcomed Jesus into the village, complaining about her sister, Mary, who sat at the feet of Jesus listening to him. Martha wants Mary to help her and says: "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me." But Jesus tells her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her." (Luke 10: 38-42)

The reflection by Gregory the Great tells us to note carefully that the part of Martha was not blamed, that that of Mary was praised. He didn't say that Mary had chosen the good part: he said it was the best, in order to show that Martha's part was still good. He made it clear what he meant by the 'best 'part of Mary when he specified that it would not be taken away form her. For the active life comes to an end with the death of the body....The contemplative life, by contrast, begins here, but always directed towards its perfection in our heavenly homeland. For when the fire of love which begins to burn here, sees him whom it loves, it will burst out in much more ardent flames for love of him....
On the other hand, we must realize that although it is normal and good for the active life to pass over into the contemplative life, often the soul is driven from contemplation to active works of charity. Precisely the contemplative vision calls us back to activity, for it understands that the labor of good works must never be abandoned while we are in this life."
This homily of Gregory the Great is the Reflection given for this Sunday in Give Us This Day.

Our vocation calls me to be both contemplative and active.

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