Tuesday, 27th Week in Ordinary Time           

            One of the most important lessons of this gospel passage is this: Listening has to come before acting. Jesus tells Martha to adopt Mary’ listening attitude as a means of overcoming her distraction so that she may be more content and effective in her ministry of service. This lesson does not diminish the value of acting and doing. It only emphasizes that our action must be the result of our reflection. It must be the fruit of our listening to the Lord. It must proceed from our sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to him.

            The key to the Christian life is setting priorities: Jesus Christ first, and everything else. The only way really to learn this lesson is to spend some time every day “sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to him speak.”

            Let me give some practical applications of this… Before we make any choice or decision – be it with regard to course to take, career to pursue, profession to be occupied in, or vocation to consider… be it with regard to personal project, business venture, social affair, spiritual exercise… listen, pray, and ask: “Lord, what is your plan for me? What do you want me to do?” Before we do ordinary and simple things – like performing a task, going somewhere, talking to someone, saying something, dealing with people… or like doing something for ourselves, entertaining ourselves, buying or shopping, texting a message… or like making statements and comments on social media, uploading a picture or posting something on Facebook… listen, pray and ask: “Lord, is this pleasing to you? Will it glorify your name?” Listening, praying, discerning has to come before acting.

            Today’s gospel is inviting us to pause daily at the feet of Jesus in prayer. We need to let him teach us anew what is important and what is not. We need periods of quiet prayer in our lives if we are to keep our balance and perspective in life. Kailangan nating pagyamanin ang ating prayer-life, upang hindi mawala sa tamang focus ang buhay natin. Prayer, which simply means attending to God, helps us to focus “on the one thing necessary.” It puts us in the presence of the One who gives meaning and fulfillment to our life.

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