by Sister Francis Bangert
In Sunday's Gospel Jesus visits his dear friends Mary and Martha in Bethany. Bethany, unlike the ever-bustling city of Jerusalem, lies quietly two miles away, a place Jesus loved to visit. After Martha complains about doing all the meal preparations, Jesus says, "Mary has chosen the better part."
What does that mean? I'm reminded of the lyrics of the 1959 song by The Flamings, ""I Only Have Eyes for You." Mary sits at the feet of Jesus, gazes into his eyes, listens with her heart to His heart -- totally focused on Jesus. Jesus calls this "the better part."
In our modern world of gadgets -- iPods, iPads, and other technologies which hold their own blessings -- one can easily forget that we are made for human relationships that build peace. Henri Nouwen writes, "Technology is so far beyond human relationships." He then offers two disciplines needed if we are to claim our humanity and not just become one more cog in the wheel of technology.
Prayer: "I kneel before you, God, my Father and my Mother. I put my ear against your chest and listen without interruption to your heartbeat. Then, and only then, can I say carefully and very gently what I hear. I know now that I have to speak from eternity into time, from the lasting joy into the passing realities of our short existence in this world, from the house of love into the houses of fear, from Your abode into the dwellings of human beings. I am well aware of the enormity of this vocation. Still, I am confident that it is the only way for me: looking at people and this world through Your eyes." (Prodigal Son.p.15)
chapter 24, US Catholic Catechism for Adults
We have the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, Jesus' own words and example, and Catholic social justice teachings to guide us in making moral choices. The choices we make are affected by how our conscience has been formed as well as influences around us. We need God's grace to make the best decisions in regard to moral issues.
Sr. Fran So good to see your smiling face and read your insightful words. God bless you.