Zach’s Mu-Zings

Greetings St. James! This week, I was privileged to spend some time with the kids participating in the TotusTuus program from both St. James and St. Elizabeth Ann. It was a great joy to be with them as they learned more about what it means to truly be a disciple of Jesus!

One of the themes we encounter in the readings this week is this idea of discipleship. Indeed, in the first and second reading, we see the “doing,” the actions, of what being a disciple entails. Abraham sees three strangers who stop at his tent during the middle of the day. He treats them with hospitality, with a generosity we would probably associate with greeting a close friend or family member. Paul tells the Colossians that he has become a servant by the commissioning of God. His task as this servant? To make known to all peoples the great mystery of God’s love for them. Following the example of these readings does seem to give us a solid basis for what we are to do as disciples, right?

However, when we read the Gospel, this whole idea seems to get flipped on its head! We hear the famous story of Mary and Martha; a story in which, in my own experience, is usually very easy for us to identify with one of the characters. Being Americans, we are concerned greatly with the pragmatic things of life, what needs to be done, when does it need to be done, who is doing it, etc. Therefore, we often identify with the frustration of Martha at Mary’s apparent abandonment. We tend to see Mary and Martha’s actions as juxtaposed, and because of this juxtaposition, Jesus’ words are confusing. Martha is doing the “right” thing, how can it be that Mary has chosen the better part? The answer to this question comes down to the root of what discipleship is, it is a relationship; a relationship between Jesus and each of us. It is from this relationship that everything else flows, all our works. So the problem then is not that Martha is busy, but that she is focused on many things, anxious about many things, rather than, like Mary, being focused on the one thing that matters most. It isn’t what she is doing, but how she has let what she is doing encroach upon her relationship with Jesus.

We live in a noisy, busy world. In many ways, we can let the things we do, even the best things we do, call our attention away from the one thing that matters most, Jesus and our relationship with Him. Rather than being the spring from which everything else we do flows, this relationship can become just another checkbox on a to do list. This week, may we focus on that relationship in all that we do so that we may truly, like St. Paul, make God’s love known to every person we encounter.

God bless you,

Zach