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29.07.2021 — Welcoming God’s Hospitality

Posted under Reflections on July 28th, 2021 by

St. Martha, Thursday  – 29th July  2021 — Gospel: Lk 10,38-42

Welcoming God’s Hospitality

From the feminist concern this scene has received a mixed evaluation. If we understand the activity of Martha, then what she is “busy about” is simply traditional woman’s work in the kitchen. Jesus’ response then can be seen as defending, in favour of Mary, the right of women disciples to be free from such duties. This is to receive from Jesus the kind of instruction that will equip them for leadership in the community, similar to male disciples. On the other hand, if Martha resembles effective and leading action in the community, then the commendation of Mary looks like a strategy on the part of Luke to return women in the community to a passive role more in keeping with traditional views. As the dominant figure, Martha receives Jesus into her home and offers hospitality. Mary, the marginalized figure, is simply “her sister”, who recognized who this visitor is and received him with the hospitality of loving attention and listening that is truly appropriate. In the “triangular situation” Mary listens to Jesus, Martha complains about this to Jesus. Jesus admonishes the one who criticizes and then defends the one attacked, as in the case of the woman in the house of Simon the Pharisee (7,36-50). The implication is that Martha should be content with preparing the one dish that ordinary hospitality requires and join Mary in her deeper hospitality. In this way both will experience their visitor’s welcome into the hospitality of God.

28.0.2021 — Joy is the Engine of Sacrifice

Posted under Reflections on July 27th, 2021 by

17th Week in Ord. Time, Wednesday – 28th July 2021 — Gospel: Mt 13,44-46

Joy is the engine of sacrifice

The parables of the treasure in the field and the valuable pearl convey the fact that God’s kingdom is more valuable and to attain that one must take greatest risk. Both the treasure and the pearl are OT symbols for wisdom (Job 28,18; Prov 4,8). The treasure is found unexpectedly by the poor farm-tiller on another’s land. The pearl is discovered after a diligent search by the well-to-do businessman. In both cases they sell all that they have immediately and secretly, to attain the precious discovery.  However, the emphasis is not on how much one has to give up, but on the joy that comes from their investment and complement. The genuine disciples respond joyfully to the discovery of the kingdom with total commitment. Joy is the engine of change and of sacrifice. Because of the surpassing value of the treasure in each case, selling was no sacrifice; it was a smart business, it was a joy.  Neither the farmer nor the businessman lost a thing – both made huge gains. The joy of the discovery of Jesus Christ in whom are hidden, “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2,3) has moved men and women of all ages into large and life-changing decisions.  It is by telling people of God’s treasures that people sell or sacrifice what is necessary for the costly but joyous acquisition.

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