Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 17, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings are all about making and keeping promises.
Our first reading refers to Genesis and God’s promise to Abraham of land and posterity. Through his hospitality to three disguised angels, Abraham secures God’s promise to bless Sara and him with a child.
In today’s second reading from Colossians, Paul assures us that God has brought that promise to its full completion in the gift of Jesus Christ living in us.
…the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past
has now been manifested to his holy ones,
to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory
of this mystery among the Gentiles;
it is Christ in you, the hope for glory.
In our Gospel, Jesus encourages Martha to give her attention to the presence of this promise revealed in her life. Mary sees the promise fulfilled in Jesus, the living presence of God. She gives her full heart to it. Martha, maybe like us sometimes, is preoccupied by other distractions.
Our readings invite us to rejoice in God’s promise to us
of “land” and “posterity”.
In Jesus, we are brought home to God.
In Jesus, the fruitfulness of our life is eternally secured.
We make promises to God too.
When our Sisters die, our vows rest near us for our wakes – a profound symbol of promises given and promises fulfilled.
Today, as we pray about God’s faithful promises to us, we might want to reflect on and deepen the commitments of our Baptism, our religious profession, our marriage, our covenants to communities of faith and service.
Like Martha, we might hear Jesus encourage us to give our fullest heart to that which is most important.
Poetry: BETHANY DECISIONS (LUKE 10:38–42) – Irene Zimmerman
As Jesus taught the gathered brothers
and Martha boiled and baked their dinner,
Mary eavesdropped in the anteroom
between the great hall and the kitchen.
Her dying mother’s warning words
clanged clearly in her memory—
“Obey your sister. She has learned
the ways and duties of a woman.”
She’d learned her sister’s lessons well
and knew a woman’s place was not
to sit and listen and be taught.
But when she heard the voice of Jesus
call to her above the din
of Martha’s boiling pots and pans,
she made her choice decisively—
took off her apron and traditions,
and walked in.
Music: timeless Motion – Daniel Kobialka