Spirituality and Action

Have you ever been to “Martha’s” home? You are treated with kindness and hospitality. The best china, delicious desserts come out. But all the while your friend is busy in the kitchen and you never really get to visit. You wish that he or she would sit down with you? Have you ever been to “Mary’s” home? The moment you come in she grabs you and sits you down and you start talking and sharing, telling stories and the hours go by. Maybe you are hungry and you even have to cough before you receive a glass of water? Perhaps we have all been in both of these situations. What does the Gospel call us to do? I think Jesus invites us to be both Mary and Martha—attentive to another’s needs and simply sharing our presence with those who come to us. In his Rule for the Hermitage, St. Francis helped his brothers to live out the call to be both Mary and Martha. Two friars would go into a quiet place for contemplation. One, like Mary, would spend time in deep prayer and contemplation with the Lord–“sitting at his feet.” The other friar, like Martha, would prepare the meals and see to the needs of his brother. Then, after a while, they would switch roles. A simple Rule but one which should inspire each of us in our day to day living. Let’s be on the lookout for God on the road this week, or Jesus in the unlikely stranger. Remember that Jesus comes to us, too, in the friend at our door. In his Rule for the monks, St. Benedict teaches: “Welcome everyone as a guest as you would Christ himself.” Amen!

This Monday, July 22nd, we celebrate the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene. Mary came from the town of Magdela, a fishing town on the western shore of the sea of Galilee. She was a wealthy Jewish woman who traveled with Jesus and his followers (Luke 8:2-3). In the past, she was confused with the former prostitute who repented—the unknown “sinful woman” who washed Jesus feet (Luke 7:36-50). This error was corrected by the Church in 1969. Mary Magdalene is mentioned twelve times in the Gospels; the evangelists record that she was a witness to Christ’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection. In John’s Gospel, we recall that she was the first witness to the Resurrection and ran to tell Peter and John, and then the others. She is rightfully called “the Apostle to the Apostles.” Pope Francis raised her remembrance to the rank of a Feast, specifically to equate it with the days that honor the apostles! St. Mary Magdalene, pray for us!

Please see the special call for volunteers to help plan our delightful “Evening with the Friars” which will take place in the Fall. If you can donate some time to put together this always enjoyable event, please let me know as soon as possible. We would like to begin the planning later this month. Thank you!

In closing, I would like to thank our Parish Stewardship Committee for hosting a wonderful gathering this past week of stewardship leaders from the Diocese of San Diego. Our emphasis was “The Stewardship of Creation and the Environment.” We know that it is imperative that we take strong action to take care of our common home before it is too late! We are to be stewards of our time, talent and treasure—and what a treasure God has given to us in creation—called by St. Francis our very brothers and sisters!

Fr. Vince

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