As I look at the calendar, it’s hard to believe that we’re already in the middle of July. That also means that we are effectively in the middle of summer. For many families, summer is a time when vacations and outings abound. Trips to the cabin, journeys to visit family, and vacations to faraway exciting places dot our calendars throughout the summer months. It’s a wonderful time for us to be able to “get away from it all” and relax from the hectic pace that our daily lives usual place upon us.
Sadly, for some, summertime trips and vacations also seem to correlate to vacations from attending church. Time away from home often seems to mean time away from Sunday Mass. Truly, the two are mutually exclusive. Speaking from personal experience, I have traveled all over the United States and around the world. I can’t think of a single destination where I have not been able to find a Catholic Church. And the beauty of our faith tradition is that no matter what church we enter on any given day, the Mass is the same Mass that is celebrated at St. Francis Xavier. It is the same celebration of the Word and it is the same sacrifice shared in the Eucharist whenever Catholics gather to celebrate the Mass.
I have been to Masses in churches where English is not spoken. But since the ritual is identical, I was still able understand what was happening from the Penitential Rite, to the transubstantiation, to receiving the precious Body and Blood of Christ. God is present in that church just as God is present in our church. And we should never forget the primary importance of God in our lives.
In today’s Gospel, Martha and Mary are hosting Jesus in their home. Martha is taking great care in serving Jesus while Mary simply sits at His feet listening to Him. As the evening progresses, Martha becomes more and more agitated because she’s doing all the work and Mary is merely focusing all of her attention on Jesus. Finally, Martha’s irritation overwhelms her and she can no longer remain silent as she serves the Lord. She says, “Lord, do you not care that [Mary] has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”
Jesus replies by saying that Martha should not be so anxious about serving and should be more focused on the Lord. He says that Mary has taken the correct approach and that He will not turn her away from His teachings. Mary’s faith in the Lord was strong and she had a deep desire to continuing growing in her faith. She was focused on what He had to say as she grew in a closer faith relationship with the Lord.
We, too, must follow Mary’s lead. We need to focus our faith and love on Jesus’ teachings and we should not set Him aside as a lessor priority. Whether we’re on vacation or serving as Jesus’ host, we must make our time with God our highest priority!
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC