Sunday, July 21, 2019
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Proper 11/6th Sunday after Pentecost
First Reading: Amos 8:1-12
Second Reading: Colossians 1:15-28
Gospel Reading: Luke 10:38-42
The liturgical color for the day is: Green
There is a way to read this story that Martha is active, and Mary is learning. It becomes a dichotomy of action over intellect. While that is a way to read the story, it may miss the point that Jesus wants to make with Martha. It is not that study and learning are preferred over action. Faithfulness involves both learning and doing. Faith is more than a noun it is also a verb—it is active—it involves both sitting at the feet of Jesus and attending to the needs of others.
The real issue is seen in the unsettled nature of Martha. In the story she is about as unsettled as can be while Mary is settled. Mary is not only settled she is intentional. She has made an intentional choice. Mary’s intentional choice is to be taking in this moment when Jesus is there and learn all she can from him.
Martha has not made intentional choices—she has just been going on with the flow of how things happen. She has been the unintentional victim of “life happens.” And the unsettledness of that comes out in the clear hostility she demonstrates towards her sister. Hey, we always demonstrate our deepest frustrations on those closest to us.
You see, the intentional choice that Mary has made is all about Jesus. The unintentional choice that Martha has made is that this is all about Martha.
The words of Jesus to his disciples are clear: “Follow me.” We are told that James and John left their nets and followed. They made an active choice. They did not just let life happen they made an active choice—it was an intentional choice. May we make intentional choices in our life in Christ.
Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena