Kung ayaw mo maabala sa daan, malamang mayroon kang pinagkakaabalahan sa iyong pupuntahan (gospel last Sunday). Kadalasan, ayaw natin maabala dahil sa tayo ay abala sa mga bagay na mahalaga para sa atin. At ang nakakalungkot minsan, nagiging abala sa atin ang ating kapwa sa mga bagay na ating pinagkakaabalahan. What do you consider necessary or important and what are just optional? Para sa isang tunay ng Kristiyano, Jesus is the FIRST Option. Other things become optional. Sa palagay ko, ang isang tunay na Kristiyano dapat lagi naaabala. To “pass by” is not an option. Sa palagay ko, ang isang tunay na Kristiyano dapat lagi naaabala. To “pass by” is not an option.

Sa pagpapatuloy natin sa pagsunod sa Panginoong Hesus, mula sa daan, dinadala tayo ng susunod na tagpo sa bahay.

The proper place to welcome a guest is in the house. However, the first, proper and concrete gesture of welcoming a guest is to face and have graceful conversation with the person. In the gospel, “Jesus refers rather to the essential note of hospitality which is to pay attention to the guest; only that is necessary; the rest is optional” The point of the gospel is about what is really necessary and what are optional. Since the story is in the context of discipleship, Mary is presented as our model here. Mary chooses what is necessary, that is, to sit at the Lord’s feet and listening to him speak. Martha, however, chooses the optional: preparing for food.

Again we ask, as disciples of Jesus, what is really necessary and what are just optional? In the gospel of Matthew the message is quite clear, “seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides” (Mt 6:33). In Christian discipleship, Christ is the only necessary in life; Christ is the living Kingdom of the Father. Meaning, Christ is the source of everything. He is everything. He can give more than what the kitchen could provide us. CHRIST IS THE FIRST OPTION. Indeed, Mary has chosen, not only the better part or a part, but the whole: JESUS CHRIST. Let us be clear of this: the gospel writer did not say, “Seek only the Kingdom” but “seek FIRST the Kingdom” and only then the optional will be provided. Sometimes, we act like Martha. Because of our shortsightedness, we rather choose the optional. We sometimes consider the optional, the kitchen, as necessary and our first option in life. As imagery, kitchen could be anything that we consider first and of great value or importance to us while Jesus, who is the necessary, becomes optional.

Therefore, as Christians, the lesson for us to learn in this gospel episode is this: in our daily life, we have to identify exactly what is necessary and what is optional. Otherwise, we will surely miss the point of being true Catholic Christians today. For St Luke, true discipleship is to “sit beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak”. That is the right and proper place to find ourselves.

Kapatid, ano ang mahalaga sayo? Sa bawat araw na kaloob sa atin ng Diyos, sino o ano ang una o inuuna mo? Saan ang lugar ni Hesus sa buhay mo? Kay Hesus, ikaw lagi ang una. You are his first option. You are necessary to him. Ganoon din ba s’ya sa iyo? If yes, you know exactly where to find yourself, your place. If not yet, we need to transfer to where Mary is. Amen.

~ Fr Edgar Ma. Benedi-an, OSM

Source: Neo Jeremiah Voice of the Young Prophet Newsletter, July 21, 2019 issue.