16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Fr. Simham)

by | Jul 20, 2019

Listen To him

The readings of this Sunday tell us; ‘what is one of the most important things in Christian life or Christian discipleship?’

In the first reading today, God most Trinity go for a walk in the desert and accept the hospitality of Abraham. After enjoying the wonderful meal prepared by Sarah, God reveals the actual purpose for which he has visited him. He has come there not so much to eat the calf or drink the milk, but to tell him the truth that He is going to fulfil all the promises made to him and so his wife Sarah is going to conceive and bear a son. And Abraham and Sarah are expected to listen to him and believe what he is saying. But Sarah laughs at what is being said. But God says, listen and believe.

And in the gospel today; Jesus goes as a guest to Bethany, to the house of Martha and Mary. He accepts their hospitality. Martha was busy preparing so many things that he likes. But Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to all the things he is saying about his future and work. Remember, This time around, Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem. He is not going there for a summer holiday, but to suffer and die. He knows that the Chief priests and the scribes are waiting for him. He will be put to death. That is God’s plan for him. That is how he is going to redeem the world. He is sharing all this with Mary. The humanness in him wants someone to share in his anxiety and the divinity in his wants someone to listen and believe. And Mary as a true disciple is listening to him sitting at his feet, sharing in his anxiety over his impending death.

Martha complains about it. But Jesus says, ‘Mary has chosen the better part.’  Or the better way of being a disciple. That is the lesson. The first and essential way of being the disciple is ‘to listen’. That was the instruction given at the transfiguration or baptism, at the theophony. What did the voice from heaven say? “This is my Son, the beloved, listen to him.”

And in fact the very word disciple means ‘to sit the feet of the master and listen.’ Mary as a true disciple has chosen the better part. And that is the lesson the world has to learn today. That is what we have to learn today. Learn to listen to him. Every day and every time we receive the Holy Communion, Jesus comes as the guest of our souls and he came as the guest to Bethany. And we are supposed to listen to him.

But unfortunately, we like Martha are so busy running around with the cares and concerns of this world, that we seldom have time to sit with the Lord and listen to him. The things we do are in themselves are not bad, they are all good for the family that God has given us or the community we live. But we are so busy with these things that we forget that only few things are essential, in fact only one. That is to be calm, sit and listen to Jesus. It means taking time to be alone with Jesus.

Secondly, we the modern men and woman are so afraid of silence and solitude. So we escape this silence with modern gadgets. We use Radio while wash-room, music-system in the bed room, T.V in the living room, and I-pod while travelling. That is the sign that we are afraid of silence or we don’t like silence.

If this is true, Jesus the true guest of our soul cannot talk to us because we are busy. Or even if talks, we cannot listen to him because of all the noise we have created for ourselves.

Let the readings today challenge us to be better listeners. Amen.

Fr. Showreelu Simham