There is need of only one thing. (Luke 10:42)
“In Christ, every saint has a past; every sinner has a future.” The stories of Paul, the great apostle, and preacher, and of Martha, the quintessential hostess, are well known to all of us. In the first reading, Paul provides details of his former life, including his relentless persecution of the Christian movement, which he considered to be heretical, and his zeal for the law and traditions of his people.
Martha’s life was defined by her relationship with her sister and brother. Little else is said about them in the gospels. We see Martha’s fixation on the minutiae of receiving important guests, contrasted with Mary’s docility. Later, Lazarus’ unexpected death plunges them and the townspeople of Bethany into the deepest grief and affords the opportunity for the Lord to perform his last miracle, the raising of Lazarus, and for Martha to express her faith in Christ as the resurrection and life.
A common thread runs through the life of both. Paul and Martha are led beyond past ways and concerns to see that “there is need of only one thing.” That one thing is to know the Lord Jesus Christ and to grasp how his great work of redemption changes everything. Absolutely everything! Paul no longer relies on his deeds and his devotion to achieve righteousness; instead, he preaches the Gospel of grace. Mary is able to put aside her practice of frantic hospitality to welcome the gift of Christ, the author, and guarantor of true life.
A Eucharistic spirituality does the same. Words give way to an experience of Christ’s faithful love; signs of bread and wine speak of his abiding presence. “There is need of only one thing.”
What is Christ calling you to let go of in your life?
Let us pray:
Jesus, Savior, give me only your love and your grace; that’s enough for me.
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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