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16th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Ages 3-6): Together With Jesus

(Adults, you could begin by reading the first paragraph of the reflection to the child, then read the Gospel, and then continue with the reflection.)

In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus visits two sisters—one named Martha, and one named Mary.

Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.

Martha welcomes Jesus. She wants him to come visit her. How good she must feel to have him in her home.

She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying.

It seems that Mary wants to visit with Jesus, too. She sits at his feet and listens to his words. We wonder what his voice sounds like. We wonder how good it feels to sit and listen to him speak.

Photo by Alireza Attari on Unsplash

But Martha was distracted by her many tasks

Perhaps she worries about getting him something to drink. Perhaps she worries about getting the food ready. Perhaps she wants everything to be just right, just so, just perfect for Jesus. There are so many things to think about. Martha is distracted.

But oh, Martha, are you too distracted to visit with Jesus?

Martha came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.”

Martha does not want to work alone. If Mary helps her, then will Martha have time to visit with Jesus? Will she sit and listen to him, too?

But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things

That is true. Martha has many things to worry about when someone comes to visit.

there is need of only one thing.

One thing? Only one? Which one thing does Jesus need? Food? Drink? Martha is ready to do the one thing.

Jesus says,

Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

What? What does this mean? Jesus says only one thing is needed and Mary has chosen it. What has Mary chosen? She chooses to sit at Jesus' feet and listens to his words.

The one thing Mary needs is to listen to Jesus. He speaks, Mary listens. Jesus gives her what she needs.

The one thing Jesus needs is for people to listen to him. Mary listens, he speaks. Mary gives him what he needs.

They are together.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

What about Martha? Martha welcomed him into her home. Does Martha need Jesus? Does Jesus need Martha? Maybe Martha will choose the better part, too. Maybe Martha will listen while Jesus speaks. Maybe Martha will be together with Jesus, too.

What about us? Do we need Jesus? Does Jesus need us? Maybe we choose the better part, too. We listen to the Word of God; we listen to Jesus. We are together with Jesus.

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