Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 108 (NAB Translation)
In this week’s first reading from the Old Testament, we see Abraham, the ancient patriarch and father of our faith, respond to God by the hospitality he shows to three of God’s messengers. In this mysterious passage, three men who represent God, pay a visit to Abraham’s tent in the desert. As was customary in that society, Abraham extends hospitality by providing water and preparing a meal for these visitors. In return for Abraham’s hospitality, Abraham is informed that within a year his wife Sarah will give birth to a son. This is in accordance with the promise earlier in Genesis that that Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky.
The response for this Psalm is: “He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.”
This week’s reading from Saint Paul’s letter to the Colossians speaks of St. Paul’s sufferings which “make up all that has still to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church.” This is not to say that Christ’s death was insufficient to atone for our sins, but rather, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, for the merits of the Passion to be applied to us, we need to cooperate by patiently bearing the trials God sends us, so as to become like our Head, Christ.” (St. Alphonsus, “Thoughts on the Passion”, 10). It was the will of God that his Apostles would have to endure much for the sake of the Church.
In this week’s Gospel from St. Luke, we meet two women spending time with Jesus. One (Mary) is listening to Jesus and the other (Martha) is busy with the practical aspects of providing hospitality to Jesus. When Martha becomes resentful that she seems to be doing all the work, Jesus gently rebukes her for her failure to understand priorities. It wasn’t that Martha was doing anything wrong, but rather that the more important thing would be to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from him. This serves as clear reminder that although doing things for the Church is good and necessary, prayer, and immersing ourselves in God’s Word must come first. It is possible to miss out on the most important things because we are busy with good, but less important things.
Reflection question from Bishop Vásquez
Hospitality and service are important Judeo-Christian values. Jesus reminds us, however, that our relationship with Him is primary. All we do must be done as for Christ. Are we busy about many things but are not focused on Christ? Prayer, sitting quietly at the feet of Christ, is essential to maintain our proper relationship with the Lord.
La hospitalidad y el servicio son importantes valore Judeo-Cristianos. Jesús nos recuerda, sin embargo, que nuestra relación con Él es principal. Todo lo que hacemos debe ser hecho como si fuera para Cristo ¿Estamos ocupados con muchas cosas pero no enfocados en Cristo? La oración, callada a los pies de Cristo, es esencial para mantener nuestra relación apropiada con el Señor.
Bishop Vásquez’ prayer request
That we would spend time in quiet prayer at the feet of the Lord, so that all we undertake is done for love of Christ …
Por que pasemos tiempo orando en silencio a los pies del Señor, para que todo lo que hagamos sea hecho por amor a Cristo…