Active and Contemplative

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We see a great story of repentance today in our first reading from Jonah 3. The whole great city of Nineveh repents of their evildoing at the preaching of Jonah.

Today’s Gospel reading from Luke 10 is the story of Martha and Mary, her sister. Jesus is dining at their home and Martha is doing all the work while Mary sits at the feet of Jesus listening to Him speak. Martha complains to Jesus, who defends Mary. “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

This story illustrates two kinds of spirituality: active and contemplative. Martha was active. She served the Lord with her actions. Mary was contemplative. She served the Lord through listening – being still and prayerful. Ask any active religious and they will tell you the importance of contemplatives. And surely any contemplative will tell you the importance of their active counterparts. I’ve found it important to include both in my life. I think for most folks it’s not an either/or proposition, but a both/and.

Father, may we serve you in action and in stillness. Give us the grace to strike the right balance or each in our lives. Amen.

Today’s Readings

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