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Jan 31st
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. The Lord is well taken care of in Bethany, Friendship with Jesus
The Lord is well taken care of in Bethany, Friendship with Jesus PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 21 July 2007 16:39

My lord, if I have found favour in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I fetch a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on - since you have come to your servant (First Reading: Gen 18:1-5). When the Lord appeared as a pilgrim to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, this is how Abraham gave him welcome. God never forgot Abraham’s hospitality.

Today’s Gospel recounts the arrival of Jesus and his disciples at the house of their friends Martha, Mary and Lazarus in Bethany (Luke 10:38-42). (On a later occasion, Jesus wept when he learned that Lazarus had died. He then brought him back to life). Bethany lies about two miles from Jerusalem. Jesus would stop there to rest in the home of his friends before going on up to the holy city. He felt at home in that place, surrounded as he was by joy and affection. This is how we ought to welcome Jesus, who is in the Tabernacle. We have no more faithful friend than He. He deserves our loving attention more than anyone else.

In this warm family environment the sisters behaved with naturalness and simplicity, even as they revealed different attitudes. Martha was distracted with much serving. She seems to have been the elder of the two -- Saint Luke says, a woman named Martha received him into her house. She was completely taken up with the work of tending to the Lord and his disciples. Certainly, there would have been plenty to keep her occupied, To receive such a numerous group was no easy task, especially since they had arrived so unexpectedly. Understandably, Martha wants to welcome the Lord in an appropriate manner. We know that at a certain point she lost her equanimity and became frustrated due to her misreading of the situation. Mary, on the other hand, sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. Martha was distracted from her task of preparing the meal. In her eagerness to get the meal ready for the Lord, Martha becomes preoccupied by a million little details. Her sister Mary prefers instead to devote herself to their guest. She forgets about her sister and sits before him, doing nothing eke but listen to his word (St Augustine, Sermon 103, 3). With the help of divine grace, we have to learn how to live a unity of life, which consists of the union of Martha’s and Mary’s attitudes. Our love of God should be inseparable from our apostolic zeal, and our work be well done for the glory of God.

With permission from Scepter UK. Short excerpt from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez. Available at SinagTala or Totus Bookstore 723-4326 or

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