MY daily reflection and prayer:
Sunday, July 17, 2016
Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Dear my friends,
Here is the Gospel for us today according to St. Luke 10:38-42
Now as they went on their way, he entered a village; and a woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.
THE most important thing we can reflect on the Gospel reading today is that we all need time to contemplate and to stay as close to Jesus Christ as possible at all times by sitting at his feet. Surely, if we don’t take time to be alone with him, we would suffocate!
Of course, we’re called to serve like Martha. But, we have to serve with a deep spirit of contemplation and prayer. True loving service is always contemplative and then permits us to serve others, especially the poor.
So, like Mary, we also need times where we’re sitting at Jesus Christ’s feet. There, we’re looking at him, letting him look at us, and listening to him.
Much more important than what we can do for Christ is what we can be for him, and what he can be for us. Martha was doing all kinds of tasks, and that was good. But Mary was listening to him, letting him serve her, being his close, intimate friend, and that was even “the best part”. And so Jesus praised her because she had chosen the best part.
In the Gospel reading today Jesus kindly teaches us that the greatest thing we can do for him, the “one needed thing”, is to let him rule completely over our heart, to take our place at his feet and listen to his words. What can we do in following Mary to stay as close to Jesus Christ as possible at all times by sitting at Jesus Christ’s feet; looking at him, letting him look at us, and listening to him?
In my experience, and as the Catholic Chruch teaches us, the most powerful contemplation for staying as close to Jesus Christ as possible at all times is time with the Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist. Of course, first of all is the Eucharist. According to St. Irenaeus of Lyons, our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking. Even, the Catholic Church teaches us that Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium 11).
Amazingly that the last three Popes have concern about Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist. St. John Paul II teaches us that the Eucharist is “the heart of the mystery of the Church. The Church draws her life from the Eucharist.” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia 1). We can experience that the Eucharist is the heart of the mystery of the Church in the Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist. It is why St. John Paul II always urged and encouraged us to do Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist. In his encyclical letter Dominicae Cenae (February 24, 1980), he writes, “May our adoration never cease.” He even began Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on December 2, 1981. He hope that it’s also established in all parishes and Christian communities throughout the world. Again he said in the 45th International Eucharistic Congress, Seville, Spain, 1993, “I hope that perpetual adoration with permanent exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will continue into the future. Specifically, I hope that Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration is established in all parishes and Christian communities throughout the world.”
Pope Benedict XVI in his Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist, Sacramentum Caritatis, also recommends that in every parish “to set aside specific churches or oratories for perpetual adoration”. The Emeritus Pope also writes, “I would like to express appreciation and support for all those whose members dedicate a significant amount of time to eucharistic adoration. … they serve as a leaven of contemplation for the whole Church … to place Christ at the centre of their lives.” (SCar 67).
It is very interesting too that Pope Francis writes “Without prolonged moments of adoration, of prayerful encounter with the word, a sincere conversatation with the Lord, our work easily becomes meaningless; we lose our energy as a result of wearness and difficulties, and our fervour dies out. The Church urgently needs the deep breath of prayer, and to my great joy groups devoted to prayer and intercession, the prayerful reading of God’s word and the Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist are growing at every level of ecclesial life.” (Evangelii Gaudium 262). Again the Pontiff writes, “How good it is to stand before a crucifix, or on ourvknees before the Blessed Sacrament, and simply to be in his presence! How much good it does us when he once more touches our lives and impels us to share his new life!” (EG 264).
Surely, time spent with Jesus in the Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist changes us. It reminds us that everything in our lives has purpose when we’re close to Him.
So let’s make a commitment to spend at least 30 minutes or if it is possible one hour with Jesus Christ in the Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist. Let’s ask him to help us to see the eternal value of the ordinary things we do, and to help us to do them with extraordinary love.
Let’s pray: Lord Jesus Christ, you remind us today that by choosing you we are truly choosing the best part, and you come to us that your joy may be in us, and our joy may be complete. May we have true loving service which is always contemplative that we kindly serve others, especially the poor now and forever. Amen.