Pastor's Desk: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 20th July 2013 in Pastor's Desk

In place of the Pastor’s Desk this week, we include the following extract from Intercom Magazine:

The Deep End - Martha Ministers Eh?

Mary and Martha are stressed out with all the work they have to do. Jesus has arrived, probably with an entourage who are no doubt hungry. This small passage has created much interest from biblical scholars over the years. For some, it suggests that Jesus is favouring prayer and reflection over action. For others, it justifies the role of women in the Church as concerned with hospitality. Many would disagree, and see Mary’s place at Jesus’ feet as a clear sign of a disciple learning from their teacher. Luke places a special emphasis in his Gospel on the wider circle of Jesus’ disciples, and names the women who followed him.

Luke also uses a specific word to refer to the ‘many tasks’ that Martha was concerned about: diakonia - a word that he uses elsewhere in Luke and Acts to refer to ministry and service in a community. It is from this word that we get the word ‘deacon’. Whatever interpretation we want to make, this is a beautiful passage about service, the importance of prayer, discipleship and ministry in all its forms.

When we are so bogged down in the craziness around us, Jesus is clear about the way forward. First, sit and listen to him. This is good advice. Then we may be better prepared for the challenges that we face, whether they be in our homes or our wider communities.

Jane Mellett

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