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Sunday Scripture Readings, July 18, 2010

Jeff Hedglen Catholic
Catholic News Service

July 18, Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle C Readings:
1) Genesis 18:1-10a
Psalm 15:2-5
2) Colossians 1:24-28

Gospel: Luke 10:38-42

Frassati Friday is a highlight of our parish young adult ministry. Every two months or so, my wife and I invite the young adults of our faith community to our house for a night of faith and fellowship, inspired by Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, a man who died at age 25 but was passionate about living his faith and having fun doing it.

In my ad for our first Frassati Friday, I explained we would spend an hour focusing on a faith topic followed by snacks provided by my wife. Partway through the hour, my wife retired to the kitchen to make final preparations of the food. After the closing prayer, we stepped over to the snack table to find tortellini skewers, bruschetta with tomato and basil, toasted ravioli triangles with homemade marinara sauce and a Caesar salad. One participant commented that when she saw “snacks” in the e-mail, she was expecting trail mix and Doritos.

While those snacks might suffice on my poker night, when my wife is hosting something, hospitality is not just a nice idea, it is a priority. She is, in my estimation, a fantastic Martha.

This week’s Gospel tells the story of Jesus visiting Mary and Martha. We all know how the story goes: Mary is sitting listening to Jesus, and Martha is busy in the kitchen. At one point Martha complains that Mary should be helping, but Jesus says that she is overly anxious and that Mary has “chosen the better part.”

Yes, sitting at the feet of Jesus is the better part, but in no way is Jesus saying that Martha should not be providing hospitality. After all, chapter 25 of Matthew’s Gospel Jesus says that those who do these things to the least of his brethren shall inherit the kingdom.

I think it is a matter of being content in what the Lord has called us to do. Jesus did not go into the kitchen and ask Martha to stop what she was doing and join Mary; he chastised her for being anxious, not for providing hospitality.

When we follow the call of Jesus in our daily life, and are content with whatever that may be, we have chosen the better part.


What are some ways you serve others and offer hospitality? What are some ways you sit at the feet of Jesus? How can you achieve a balance of these two ways of following Jesus?


“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things” (Luke 10:41).

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