Tuesday, 27th Week in Ordinary Time—Year I

Velazquez, Christ in the House of Martha and Mary. 1618

Today you heard two familiar Bible stories. In the first reading, Jonah reluctantly preaches and the Ninevites, who wholeheartedly convert. In the Gospel, Martha serves while Mary listens at Jesus’ feet. The characters in these two stories would seem to have nothing in common with each other… but that is not so.

What do Martha and Jonah have in common? Both Martha and Jonah are doing work for the Lord, work which they found to be unpleasant. What do Mary and the Ninevites share? What do they have in common? Both Mary and the Ninevites are doing the one thing that is needed, they have turned themselves towards the Lord. Now let’s apply their lesson to ourselves as students.

Ever since I was five years old, up to this very year, I have been in school as a student every year of my life. So I’ve sat through a lot of classes; some which I really enjoyed, and others that I didn’t. Now it’s easy to work on a subject we enjoy, but in other classes we’re like Martha and Jonah, it’s God’s will for us that we be there, doing what we’re doing, but we’re certainly not thrilled about it.

So the next time you feel bummed-out in one of your classes (hopefully not in one of my classes) try doing this: Turn your eyes and your heart to the Lord, like Mary and the Ninevites, and offer yourself and that hour’s work to Jesus.   You already have your cross, so use it for a spiritual sacrifice. What difference will it make when you redirect yourself and your work like this to the Lord? There’s only one way to find out.

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