Today’s readings remind us that contemplation and hospitality are like love and service: they go hand in hand and they enrich one another. In today’s readings it seems one person might be getting the brunt of the grunt work (Sarah and Martha), but when it is understood from the perspective of communion, a perspective Paul reminds us of in today’s Second Reading, we know that whether we are in a moment of contemplation or hospitality, love or service, we are benefiting the whole Mystical Body of Christ.
Abraham in today’s First Reading had a special encounter with the Lord. He’d been told to wander to new lands as a nomad with the promise of a land and children of his own. Sarah had been there every step of the way for years. Now the Lord, in the three mysterious visitors, promises that Sarah will bear a son. Sarah receives the blessing, a blessing for her and her husband, that both had been striving for in different ways. Mary in today’s Gospel seems to have left her sister Martha in the lurch, sitting at Our Lord’s feet, and Martha is not shy about bringing that up to Our Lord. Our Lord reminds her that everyone has a part to play, be it love and contemplation or hospitality and service. In the end, both Mary and Martha would be blessed when Our Lord raises their brother Lazarus from the dead thanks to their love and faith.
We all are tempted from time to time of being envious of what others are doing when our part seems burdensome or unfair. Paul in today’s Second Reading speaks of making up for what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of his Body, the Church. Some always have the tougher part; be consoled by knowing that doing your part, easy or hard, will result in blessings for you and for the entire Body.