Feast of Saint Martha
“God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.” –1 John 4:16
Growing up in California I would spend some of my time in our, very large Mission fig tree, that was in our backyard. It was very old and its branches were large enough to allow me to recline on them. I had one particular branch that was my favorite. I would climb up and lay back on the branch and watch the sunlight dance between the leaves. It was there that I would ask God many questions in my heart. The one most often asked was, “What is love?” Through my life I have continued to search for the answer and have found it in many ways. Through all of the adventures and experiences of my life I have found that it has many forms and these all come back to its center which is God. Sometimes it is very easy to show love and other times it is difficult. For me, the difficult times is where I really learned about the blessings and graces that come from love.
The first reading from 1 John is a beautiful reflection on love. God loved us enough to send his Son to forgive our sins and all he asks of us in return is to love him and to love one another. How difficult that is at this time in our world. This is one of those times when loving our neighbor as our self can be a challenge. Spending less time reading Facebook posts has helped me not be caught up in the politics of the COVID-19 Virus, Schools reopening, Masks verses no Masks, Riots and all the unrest that remind me of the 1960s and early 1970s. Instead, taking time to reflect as I tend my garden has been the equivalent of laying in my childhood fig tree to gain perspective on life. Once again, this has been a time when I am learning about the blessings and graces that come from love.
In the Gospel reading Martha and Mary are examples of the two types of Christian love. Love shown in the service to others and the love shown to God. This Gospel reading is really about balance. Martha is all upset because she has become so focused on her part that she has forgotten about the other part of serving others. Taking time to be with them and in this case taking time to be with God. Taking time for God to gain perspective on life is an important activity to put into our lives at this time. To find that balance of being Martha and Mary can bring balance back into our lives. With what seems like everything being topsy-turvy, it is balance that we desire. Look for your fig tree today and reflect upon the sunlight dancing through the leaves.
May you and your families stay safe and healthy during these days. Let us continue to pray for our families, friends, country and world.
Linda Schork is a theology teacher at Saint Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky.