Sunday Angelus address by Pope Francis
In this Sunday’s passage, the evangelist Luke narrates the visit of Jesus to the house of Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus (see Lk 10 : 38-42). They welcome him, and Mary sits at his feet and listens to him, leaving what she was doing to be close to Jesus: she does not want to lose any of his words. Everything must be put aside because, when he comes to visit us in our lives, his presence and his word come before everything. The Lord always surprises us: when we start to listen to him really, the clouds vanish, doubts give way to truth, fears to serenity, and the different situations of life find their rightful place. The Lord always, when he comes, arranges things, even for us.
In this scene of Mary of Bethany at the feet of Jesus, St. Luke shows the prayerful attitude of the believer, who knows how to stay in the presence of the Master to listen to him and be in tune with Him. It is a matter of taking a break during the day, of gathering in silence, a few minutes, to make room for the Lord who “passes” and find the courage to remain a little “apart” with him, to then return, with serenity and effectiveness, to everyday things. Praising the behavior of Mary, who “chose the better part” (v. 42), Jesus seems to repeat to each of us: “Do not be carried away by things to do, but listen first of all to the voice of the Lord, to perform well the tasks that life assigns to you “.
Then there is the other sister, Marta. St. Luke says that it was she who hosted Jesus (see verse 38). Perhaps Marta was the older of the two sisters, we don’t know, but certainly this woman had the charism of hospitality. In fact, while Mary is listening to Jesus, she is completely taken in by the many services. Therefore Jesus tells her: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and you are agitated for many things” (v. 41). With these words he certainly does not intend to condemn the attitude of the service, but rather the anxiety with which it is sometimes experienced. We too share the concern of Saint Martha and, on her example, we propose to ensure that, in our families and in our communities, we live the sense of acceptance, of fraternity, so that everyone can feel “at home”, especially the little ones and the poor when they knock on the door.
Therefore, today’s Gospel reminds us that the wisdom of the heart lies precisely in knowing how to combine these two elements: contemplation and action. Martha and Mary show us the way. If we want to enjoy life with joy, we must associate these two attitudes: on the one hand, the “being at the feet” of Jesus, to listen to him while he reveals the secret of everything to us; on the other hand, be attentive and ready in hospitality, when He passes and knocks on our door, with the face of a friend who needs a moment of refreshment and fraternity. We need this hospitality.
May Mary Most Holy, Mother of the Church, grant us the grace to love and serve God and the brothers with the hands of Martha and the heart of Mary, so that by always listening to Christ we can be artisans of peace and hope. And this is interesting: with these two attitudes we will be artisans of peace and hope.