October 5, 2021

The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.”

This passage has long been misinterpreted as extolling the contemplative life over the active life or one of service. However, it is not to say that the active life is inferior, only that Martha is fretting about what she is doing and casting the evil eye on her sister, whom she considers lazy and leaving her to do all the work. Mary may well have been too laid back. But the key point is Martha’s anxiousness and impatience.

Many commentaries have noted that, in a Christian context, the main thing necessary is the word of God. As we read in Matthew’s Gospel, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (4:4). Our Mass, in a sense, combines the two. Not only by devoting the first half to the Liturgy of the Word but in feeding us with his body and blood of Christ in the second half. The Mass then ends with our being told to commit ourselves to proclaim the good news of salvation to others.

In our adoration time, we can reflect on how to combine these two aspects of our discipleship. As Saint John tells us, we know that Jesus has the words of everlasting life (6:66). We also know that we are intended to commit ourselves to share his word with the world. That word takes us into the heart of the world to live out the gospel of caring and sharing in our lives, acting as Jesus’ hands and feet wherever we are.

How can I serve Jesus today?

Let Us Pray:

O loving Lord, grant that I may always be attentive to your word, even while being involved in the work of your kingdom.


Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015. His most recent book is A Eucharistic Spirituality: Inspired by Saint Peter Julian Eymard – Apostle of the Eucharist, which he co-authored with Jim Brown.