29 Jul Thu, 17th Week in Ordinary Time St Martha

7/28/2021 2:33:39 PM
1 Jn. 4:7-16 / Ps. 33:2-3,4-5,6-7,8-9,10-11 / Jn. 11:19-27 or Lk. 10:38-42 (Ps Wk I)

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Are we too hard on Martha? No matter what praise Jesus had for Mary about her choosing "the better part", we can be sure that Jesus was not criticising Martha nor rejecting her hospitality, for, as St John assures us, Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus (Jn.11:5). Moreover, Martha "was busy with all the details of hospitality." The demands of hospitality are an essential part of life in most cultures, so Jesus probably spoke to Martha in a kindly and appreciative manner. Scholars discuss what Jesus meant by "one thing only is required". Was this part of his reply to Martha encouraging her to be less anxious about the amount of food she was providing or about the welfare of the guests, or was it the lean-in to what he wanted to say about Mary choosing the better part? We can never know, but we must certainly read the whole story under the rubric quoted: Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus (Jn. 11:5). God, and of course Jesus, has different ways of expressing love for different people, and God's love for us is what gives form and meaning to our lives.

Lord Jesus, bless our lives so that whatever way we serve You and our brothers and sisters will be for us "the better part."   

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7月29日 ( 四 ) 聖瑪爾大紀念日

若望一書 4:7-16
聖詠 34:2-3,4-5,6-7,8-9,10-11
若望福音 11:19-27 
或 路加福音 10:38-42

雖然那句「瑪利亞選擇了更好的一分」,似乎暗示了瑪爾大遜色一籌。但有趣的是教會每年都紀念瑪爾大,卻沒有專門的關於「選取更好一分」的瑪利亞的紀念日。路加筆下這段知名的福音,主角更像是瑪爾大,而非瑪利亞;內容全是瑪爾大與耶穌的對談。福音中鮮有人敢如此對耶穌講話:「你不介意嗎?」暗含著瑪爾大很介意。「請叫她來幫助我吧!」傳遞出絲毫不見外的熟絡。這是瑪爾大的本真:率直、熱情,外加一點控制慾。耶穌同樣地不見外,「瑪爾大,瑪爾大!你為了許多事操心忙碌……」。福音中耶穌也很少一次性兩呼某人的名字,且是在如此友誼的場合。沒有責斥,但也沒有掩飾心中所想;宛如一對老友的彼此熱嘲。

在這位廚房達人身上,我們驚訝到,原來一個人與耶穌的關係竟可以如此坦率自然!固然天主在人眼中的形象,可以多樣化為父親、國王、愛人、牧者等,但「朋友」無疑更讓人舒坦。

耶穌說了甚麼,瑪爾大或許會忘記;但祂談話的態度和神情,則永遠留於她心中。

(theology.org.hk)
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