July 21, 2019: The Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

The center of it all.


Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.

Luke 10:38-39

Many years ago, I sat in spiritual direction with a phenomenal priest and was assigned to read Luke’s passage about Mary and Martha. I was told to really ponder what it meant to be a “Mary” and a “Martha.” As I was a student at the time, — surely way too busy to actually mediate on this passage — I read it once and then “thought about it” while I continued on with my studies.

At this time I thought, well, I’m doing what I can — I have a holy hour once a week, I’m going to spiritual direction, and I’ve never even considered missing Mass for my studies. I’ll be able to devote daily time to my spiritual life once I graduate.

And then I went to graduate school. After that, I started working multiple jobs to pay the bills. Now, I’ve just bought my first house. And before I know it, I’ll be getting married and having children and what I thought of as busy will seem like free time.

Life never stops. We will always have too many things to do. And sometimes I think we confuse this passage as to say God wants us to drop all of our chores and only spend time with Him. We know that isn’t the case. We all have things that have to get done. We all have mouths to feed, even if for now it’s just our own.

But the center of our lives needs to be God. Jesus didn’t say that He didn’t want to be fed — after all, He was still flesh and blood and needed nourishment. Rather, Luke specifically says, “Mary … sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.” If we do not set aside time for the Lord, how are we supposed to listen? If we do not listen, how are we supposed to properly serve our own lives and those who are in it?

When we are stripped of our worries and daily hustle, Jesus Christ is still there. Everything that we think is important is nothing compared to our relationship with God. We could all be more like Mary. Read these words from Christ Himself, but hear your own name: “[Beloved son/beloved daughter,] you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Marissa Meyer is an active cantor within the Diocese of Nashville. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Ave Maria University and a Master of Music from Belmont University. The best part about graduate school was adopting her dog, Esther (like the queen). She has been #blessed to work for Every Sacred Sunday since January 2019.