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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

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Galatians 1:13-24
Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15
Luke 10:38-42

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Martha "had a sister named Mary." —Luke 10:39

Over the centuries, Christians have pitted Martha and Mary against each other. For example, we call someone a Martha or a Mary, but never both. The Lord, however, calls each of us to be both a Martha and a Mary. The faith of Mary is dead without the works of Martha (see Jas 2:26), while the works of Martha are aimless without the prayer of Mary. In fact, Mary is working by listening to Jesus, for listening is very hard work. Busy Martha is praying, for good deeds and generosity are sacrifices pleasing to the Lord (Heb 13:16). Thus, the distinction between Martha and Mary is not so distinct.

First, each of us must strive to be like Mary. If we set aside time each day to listen to the Lord in prayer, the Bible, and silence, we will begin to develop a lifestyle of listening. As we listen attentively to the Lord, we will likely hear Him calling us into action. Then, having attained "full knowledge of His will," we "will multiply good works of every sort" (Col 1:9-10).

A Mary tends to develop into an activist like Martha, and only a Mary makes a good Martha. As Mother Teresa said, we are called to be "active contemplatives."

Prayer:  Father, make me like Mary and Martha so that I will be like Jesus.

Promise:  "The time came when He Who had set me apart before I was born and called me by His favor chose to reveal His Son to me." —Gal 1:15-16

Praise:  Every morning Karen spends time in listening prayer before she begins her day's activities.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2010

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