OMELIE / Omelie EN

21 lug 2019
21/07/2019 – 16th Sunday Year C

21/07/2019 – 16th Sunday Year C

Reading 1, GN 18,1-10 * Psalm 14 * Reading 2, COL 1,24-28 * Gospel, LK 10,38-42


Abraham welcomed three men under the tree. He offered them the possibility to refresh their feet, he prepared bread, milk and meat to calm their hunger. In the end he realised he has welcomed God Himself, his God, who wanted to reward his hospitality beyond every expectation: He announced him the birth of a son, without taking any notice of his age and his wife's age.

The Gospel too is talking about hospitality. Martha and Mary welcome Jesus and the disciples during their journey. They came up from Jericho and they are arriving in Jerusalem. They are also continuing an interior journey, a walk, which is due to the Master's words and decision. He has just addressed them with the parable about the good Samaritan. Through it He has just been talking of himself in a veiled way, but understandable, and also He has let understand how His disciples need to be ready to serve the brethren with full availability.

The brief passage from Luke is showing us now how Jesus can be welcomed. The two sisters open the door for Him. Martha welcomes Him in her house, Mary welcomes Him in her heart. We will learn from both.

Martha sees the material needs both of Jesus’ and the disciples': they need to wash themselves, to drink something, to eat. She starts working, getting preoccupied, she puts effort in all those services she deems necessary. Jesus for sure accepts them with gratitude. It looks like Martha is perfectly following the teaching given by the Samaritan in the parable.

Her sister Mary is also happy of the new visitors: however, she welcomes them by putting herself at the Lord’s feet, as a disciple, paying attention to the words that are coming out of His mouth. She lets herself to be purified, fed and refreshed by what He is telling them. How much Jesus had to have felt loved by her! She is enjoying Him and, with her desire to listen to Him, it is almost like she is telling Him: “You are important, Jesus, for my life! Tell me what you want me to do and I will do it. I am letting myself being taught by You, I want to do what You desire”! Mary is not lazy, but she wants to do not her own will, on the contrary, her Lord's!

Martha is serving with effort, but at a certain moment she cannot stand it anymore! She cannot stand the fact that her sister is there listening to Jesus. She is positive about herself, to the point she feels she has the right to rebuke Jesus, like He would pay no attention to her and her efforts. She would like her sister too to start worrying about the food and the drinks. She would like to be considered more important than Him by her sister! Her words, said with clear annoyance, establish an uncomfortable atmosphere for everyone. Martha, with her remark, destroys the peaceful and serene environment that Jesus is establishing with His presence and His words.

At this point we listen to Jesus' answer, who loves Martha and appreciates her spirit of service. The service to the brethren is important, as He has already taught them, but it needs to be preceded by listening. The service to the brethren needs to be a divine service, dipped in God's love, infused with the Holy Spirit! This is why the service needs to be obedience to God. It is necessary then, first of all, to listen to Him, in order to really do His will! Mary has really chosen the best part, the part of whom is filling himself with the word of God and with Holy Spirit.

We can learn from both the sisters: we learn to be always available, but to do everything the Lord is asking of us, not everything pops in our mind. Also for the tired and suffering brethren the most important thing, which consoles and gives strength, is God’s word, is to be focused on Jesus. He is the bread, the water and the wine that give strength and make the men’s heart rejoice!

Saint Paul is helping us, reminding us his joy to be able to suffer for us. He is suffering believing that he is about to bring to completion in himself the shaping of Jesus' image: He has given Himself in sacrifice, and therefore we will be perfect only when also in us will become reality the offering of our life, even to the point of sacrifice and suffering. There is no more beautiful and precious service than this: that we may present everyone perfect in Christ! Every hospitality of ours needs to look for this, so in us His image will be complete as well!


Wise and merciful Father, give us a humble and meek heart, so we can listen to your Son’s word which can still be heard in the Church, gathered in His name, and so we can welcome and serve Him like a visitor in the person of our brethren.