The Better Part

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Every now and again people get the message. We see this in the first reading today from Jonah 3. The reluctant prophet made his way to Nineveh and told the people they must repent from their evildoing. They heeded the message, repented, and God did not carry out the punishment he had planned for them. Moral of the story: it pays to repent!

The Gospel reading today is from Luke 10, the story of Martha and Mary. Jesus visits their home and Martha is busy serving and taking care of details, while Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to Him speak. Martha complains, but Jesus says of Mary, “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

What is “the better part” to which Jesus refers? I believe that it is listening to Him. There’s no question that Jesus calls us to be people of service, just like Martha. But He also calls us to be people of prayer. At the Transfiguration, the voice of the Father says, “This is my beloved Son; listen to Him.” If we’re not listening to Jesus, not growing in our relationship with Him, then all the service in the world can be for naught. If we truly want to do what Jesus asks us to do, we must first know what that is. How? By listening to Him. That is the better part. From there all of our service will flow.

Father, give us the grace to still our hearts and listen to Jesus. Help us to be better listeners, and thereby better servants. Amen.

Today’s Readings

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