The other day as I was taking a walk, I noticed two girls walking down the street, and they were talking. However, they weren’t talking to one another. They were talking on their cell phones to two other people. Today we are plugged into cell phones, the internet, iPads, and various other electronic devices. But the one thing we are not plugged into is real, personal relationships with God or one another. Have you ever been having a conversation with a friend and he/she gets a call on their cell phone? What do they do? The considerate thing to do would be to ignore it or turn it off and check for a message later as we give our full attention to the friend.
The sacred scripture readings (Genesis 18:1-10a; Colossians 1:24-28; Luke 10:38-42) are about paying full attention to the other person. Abraham stops what he is doing right away and makes them welcome by attending to their needs. When Jesus visits Martha and Mary, they both pay attention to Jesus in different ways. Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to his words, while Martha is busy with the details of hospitality. While it is important to meet the physical needs of others, it is also important to meet their spiritual and emotional needs by listening to them attentively. As for God, not only do we care for him when we help our brothers and sisters, but he helps us when we listen to him in prayer and worship.
- Fr. Carl