Dear Parish Family,
As I was reading over our readings, I could not help but notice how appropriate and relevant the readings are for what is happening in our world today. With our political climate and so much division, fighting over what is right (legally) and what is just (humanely)! Though it may seem that it is the same thing, it is not always the case.
In Jesus’ times social codes and boundaries were strict, many people were excluded and seen as having lesser value or dignity; women and children were among the most vulnerable and unprotected. Still today, we see this mistreatment and exclusion of our fellow man, especially with our immigrant brothers and sisters at our southern border. Though the laws and society may have their rules of what is acceptable in the treatment of others, as followers of Christ, this is where we listen to his words, his example, and follow in his steps, so that we will do what is right and just.
In our Gospel, Martha is conditioned by the existing social codes and boundaries of her society, woman’s place was to take care of the household, be servants to the need of the men and family. This is why Martha complains and asks Jesus to intervene. To Martha’s surprise Jesus defends Mary, “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” Mary breaks through that boundary and becomes a disciple of Jesus. To love God with all one’s heart and one’s neighbor at times requires breaking some of society’s rules. The Kingdom of God is a society without distinctions and boundaries between its members. It is a society that requires times for seeing and doing and also times for listening and learning at the feet of a teacher.
Our Psalm today clearly reminds us we should live our lives with truth, justice, harm not our fellow man, accept no bribe against the innocent. “He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.”
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we should not follow the laws. Many of our laws, rules and limitations are good for us; they keep us safe and healthy. However, at times we must question if the laws are fair and just. Are these boundaries used to unfairly exclude and separate and dehumanize the children of God? Are we following the commandment, “Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself”? May we always seek to live in the presence of the Lord.
Faith Formation Minister