Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
Today’s Gospel reading is centered around two women many of us are probably familiar with, Martha and Mary. It’s the famous Gospel reading where Martha, who is anxious and worried, is serving Jesus while her sister, Mary, Is sitting at his feet. Martha, presumably upset that she isn’t getting any help from Mary, asks Jesus if he doesn’t care that she is doing it all on her own while Mary is just being lazy. Jesus reveals a great truth in his reply to Martha; he tells her that there is need of only one thing and it is the better thing. So, what is it?
I don’t know about you, but I am so much more of a Martha than a Mary. I feel like if Jesus were to come to my house I would be so flustered and so shocked that I would feel the need to work, work, work and impress him with how greatly I could serve him. I mean, it’s Jesus…in my house! Perhaps it’s because I would be trying to prove that I was good at serving or because I was trying to make-up for my shortcomings and my sin through serving. Either way— I know that my default reaction to things is to work or keep myself busy with any random task.
However, today Jesus tells us that Mary has chosen the better part than her sister. It’s actually better that Mary simply sat beside Jesus’ feet and listened to him speak instead of helping her sister serve him. I think this highlights something important that each of us needs to grapple with at some point or another— sometimes it’s better to simply sit with the Lord than to do anything else.
It might be because we are used to constantly feel the need to impress others: teachers, parents, coaches, that we feel the need to want to be like Martha. We find the desire to serve and to keep ourselves busy when it comes to our relationship with the Lord rather than to just sit with him. It’s funny how when we are trying to connect with God we find ways to continue to distract ourselves rather than to sit with him. It was in fact Mary, not Martha, who was being more real, more vulnerable with Jesus. There is a vulnerability that is only found in silence— and Jesus tells us that this is the better way. Today, take time to step back from your prayer commitments and all that you feel you “have to do” and simplify it. Be vulnerable, be quiet, and sit at the Lord’s feet and be still.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
Would I react more like Martha or Mary? Why is that?
Do I feel like I have to impress God in prayer or with how I live? How come?
How is God calling me to be more vulnerable with him?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Help me be still."
"Let me rest in you."
"Thank you for loving me."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Take time today to just sit with the Lord. Don't do anything other than enter into prayer and try to be like Mary. If possible, take time to sit at God's feet in Eucharistic Adoration.
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"Today's prayer was prepared by Adam Smyth, the Life Teen Coordinator at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in the Woodlands, TX.
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