Bishop Thomas Gumbletonby Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

Whenever I read this Gospel, I like to ask people, “Don’t you think Martha got kind of a bad rap from Jesus?” Mary was just sitting around and Martha was doing all the work, but it’s much deeper than that. We have to spend some time now to listen to these Scripture lessons and draw lessons for ourselves, and there are three things in today’s lessons that are very important.

One is that they’re about hospitality — both Abraham and Sarah and then Martha and Mary show great hospitality. They’re reaching out to welcome someone into their midst. They’re also about discipleship, something that we’re all called to. Finally they’re about, I think, the humanness of Jesus and how he can be a friend, which is very important for all of us to realize and to experience.

Now hospitality — I think we all understand clearly what that means. You reach out, you welcome guests and visitors, strangers even, into your midst and you share with them what you have. That’s what Abraham and Sarah were doing as these three strangers just came along. Abraham rushes out to meet them, then he goes back and tells Sarah, “We have to get a luncheon ready for them, give them a chance to rest and wash their feet and then have something to eat; rest in the shade of the tree.”…

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