HOMILY FOR THE 16TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C (6)







HOMILY FOR THE 16TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C

THEME: OFFERING HOSPITALITY

BY: Rev. Fr. Sylvanus Amaobi.

HOMILY FOR SUNDAY JULY 17 2022

 

(1st Reading, Gen. 18:1-10; 2nd Reading, Col. 1:24-28; Gospel, Luke 10:38-42)

Dear brothers and sisters, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).

Offering hospitality always opens the floodgate of blessings from God. This is seen in Abraham’s gesture of kindness and hospitality to the three visitors, as is read in the first reading of today from the book of Genesis (Gen. 18:1-10). Abraham and Sarah had no child. But after the extraordinary act of hospitality, they were rewarded with a promise of a son. And one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have a son.”

In the Gospel (Lk. 10:38-42), Jesus was a guest to Martha and Mary. Martha was busy serving while Mary sat beside the Lord at his feet, listening to him. Burdened with much serving, Martha came to Jesus and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” Martha probably was expecting a simple instruction to Mary by the Lord to go and assist in the serving, but that wasn’t to be. Instead, she got an answer that could have shocked any person in that situation from the Lord; “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is a need for only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken from her.”

What message does the Lord intend to pass by his response to Martha? Is it wrong to be hospitable to one’s visitors? Certainly not. In everyday life, the scale of preference is a viable principle employed to get the most basic needs before the lesser ones. In layman’s terms, it is the order of priority. Jesus seems to use this principle in the answer he gave to Martha, “you are anxious and worried about many things. There is a need for only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part….” Definitely, the Lord was not condemning hospitality, nor was he approving laziness. Neither did he condemn Martha for her hospitable acts. Instead, He disapproved of the fact that the service had become a burden causing her distractions, fretting, worries and anxiety. The same is true of us today. If our daily activities and services are performed in such a way that they become distractions to listening to the Word of God, we risk being anxious, confused, restless, worried, and nervous.

What did Mary choose? She sat beside the Lord at his feet, listening to him. By sitting at the feet of the Lord and listening to him, Mary made herself a disciple of the Lord. It is an expression of the posture of a disciple, to sit at the master’s feet (cf. Acts 22:3 – Paul at the feet of Gamaliel). Mary opened herself to internalize the Word of God, Jesus Christ himself, and make him her priority. Christ confirmed that she had taken the better part, and it would not be taken from her. Martha’s hospitality was good, but it was centered on the perishable, which would not last forever. Mary chose to listen to Jesus, living up to the teaching of Jesus Christ that “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God” (Lk. 4:4). Martha’s feeling of hospitality to Jesus was good, but Mary’s feeling of spiritual devotion to Jesus was the best. Let us always align or order our priorities right.

Always remember that Jesus loves you.

Rev. Fr. Sylvanus Amaobi.

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