Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the continuation of the discourse from the book of the prophet Jonah, in which today we are focused on the actions of prophet Jonah in Nineveh, when he carried out what the Lord had asked him to do, to proclaim the fated destruction of Nineveh because of their wickedness.
Almost immediately however, the entire city of Nineveh, from its king and all the way to its inhabitants, to the lowest among the slaves, all repented from their sins and showed great remorse for their wickedness, dressing up in sackcloth and ashes, the most visible outward sign of a penitent at that time. Knowing very well their sins and wickedness, they turned away from those before they were to face destruction.
And thus God spared the city of Nineveh, by not carrying out the destruction He had planned out for the city. The people of Nineveh could have ignored the Lord’s words and continued on with their daily business as usual, and they would end up being destroyed. Yet, as we heard, they sided with the Lord and placed themselves on His side.
In the Gospel today, we heard the Lord Jesus Who came to the house of Mary and Martha, the close friends and disciples of Jesus, who were also the sisters of Lazarus that the Lord resurrected from the dead. Mary and Martha welcomed the Lord, but each of them then acted differently. Mary listened attentively to the Lord while Martha was busy preparing the kitchen and ensuring a hospitable welcome for the Lord.
But in her busy activities, Martha forgot the one most important thing that she should have done, and that is to listen to the Lord, to His truths and teachings. She was too preoccupied and busy with her other concerns that she forgot about the Lord, while Mary placed her focus in the right place and time. Martha’s intention might be good, that she wanted to serve the Lord well, but in her hurry and business, she forgot the purpose of her intention.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us reflect on ourselves and our own lives, as we heard these readings from the Scriptures. Many of us Christians in fact have acted in the same way as Martha had done. We are often too preoccupied and too busy with our schedules that we ended up forgetting about God and our obligations to Him. We are distracted by all these worldly concerns that we end up distancing ourselves from Him.
Let us all no longer be hesitant, but clear our minds and put our priorities right. Let us not be distracted by all the sorts of temptations and pressures which are pulling us away from God. Let us remember that the devil and his fallen angels are always active and on the prowl, waiting for us to fall into their clutches, tempting us, pulling at us to abandon the Lord, by the loss of our faith.
May God empower each and everyone of us with faith, that our commitment and devotion to Him will be ever stronger day by day. May the Lord bless us all and remain with us, so that we will draw ever closer to Him, and become as dedicated as Mary, listening intently to the word of God, that we may know what is God’s will for us. Amen.