Pastor's Desk: Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 16th July 2016 in Pastor's Desk

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

The Deep End - The host with the most

Which one are you? It’s such a familiar story. Think of the last time you had friends or family over for a meal or a gathering. Were you more of a Mary or a Martha? Many of us fall more easily into one category than the other - the ‘host with the most’ who is always up to their eyes with the cooking and catering and table clearing; or the chatterer who is happy to leave the washing up until later?

At face value, I don’t think Jesus is saying we shouldn’t be hospitable and look after our guests, offering them food or drinks. Like many, I really feel for Martha in this story. She had welcomed Jesus into her home, was looking after him and busying herself with serving him, while her sister was too busy listening to Jesus to offer to help. It is no wonder that Martha complained. After all, someone had to do the practical work. Martha may have wanted to spend time with her guest too - but then, who would have served him?

The key is in Jesus’s words. He does not criticise Martha for her efforts, but rather gently rebukes her for ‘worrying and fretting about so many things’. She is so distracted and bogged down in her work that she has forgotten to spend time with Jesus. This is familiar territory for many of us. We are often distracted and busy. Do we make space to sit at the Lord’s feet and listen? Can we take time each day, perhaps, for a Scripture reading?

Tríona Doherty

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