16TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - 17TH JULY 2016

CANON ANTHONY WRITES:-

We certainly live in changing, and for some at least exciting, times! Since the Referendum much has been happening in the political life of our country. Every day, so it seems, there is yet another surprising announcement. Many people, not least the media, thrive on such rapid, and unexpected, change; while for others it can be disturbing and unsettling.

 At this, and at other times in life too, we have to be able to find some peace, some certainty, we need to find the place where we can be secure, where we can ground ourselves. And we discover where our particular, and personal, solid place is not when the storm erupts but when there is some space, some peace and quiet.

 In today’s Gospel Jesus visits his friends Martha and Mary. Martha seems to be the organiser, full of energy, doing everything, and doing so simply because she wants to offer warm, generous, hospitality to Jesus. Martha is certainly to be appreciated for what she is doing, but Jesus appears to tell her she may have not got it right. He tells her: ‘Martha, Martha, you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part.’

 Martha was offering Jesus warm welcoming hospitality, while Mary offers another sort of hospitality. She simply is still, sitting at the Lord’s feet, offering him companionship, receptive to him, and to his words. With our busy lives, and our changing world, Mary is a very helpful model to have before us. When life is busy, and there are all manner of demands to be met, the prospect of making time, of being still, may sound like something of an impossibility. Yet it is a necessity, a necessity that will make a difference.

 Just as we prioritise certain essentials in our daily life, so it is necessary to give priority too to a time for quiet, for silence, for prayer. Such time is a luxury, but an important one, a transforming one, because it means that we put down solid roots, roots that will sustain us when life is unsettling or challenging. And it also means that, like Martha and Mary, in their respective ways, we open our lives to the Lord – we offer him hospitality through our

attentiveness, and through giving him space and time, each day, in our lives.

Posted on July 15, 2016 .