Thursday, July 19, 2007

Scott Hahn on this Sunday's Readings

The Saint Paul Center is awesome.

Each week Scott Hahn posts some comments on the up-coming Sunday readings on the Saint Paul Center's website. I frequently remind myself that I need to really to reference that here more often. This week's is so good, I had to post on it before it slipped my mind.

This week the Church will have us read first from Genesis 18's account of the mysterious "three men" who came and ate with Abraham. The Gospel will then be drawn from Luke's account of Jesus at the house of Mary and Martha:
Luke 10:38-42: Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.She had a sister named Marywho sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,"Lord, do you not carethat my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me." The Lord said to her in reply,"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better partand it will not be taken from her."

Why is Luke 10 given to us with Genesis 18? Here's Dr. Hahn's excellent pastoral commentary...

God wants to dwell with each of us personally, intimately - as the mysterious guests once visited Abraham's tent, as Jesus once entered the home of Mary and Martha.

By his hospitality in today's First Reading, Abraham shows us how we are to welcome the Lord into our lives. His selfless service of his divine guests (see Heb 13:1) stands in contrast to the portrait of Martha drawn in today's Gospel.

Where Abraham is concerned only for the well-being of his guests, Martha speaks only of herself - "Do you not care that my sister has left me by myself... Tell her to help me."

Jesus' gentle rebuke reminds us that we risk missing the divine in the mundane, that we can fall into the trap of believing that God somehow needs to be served by human hands (see Acts 17:25).

Our Lord comes to us, not to be served but to serve (see Mt 20:28). He gave His life that we might know the one thing we need, the "better part" which is life in the fellowship of God.

Jesus is the true Son promised today by Abraham's visitors (see Mt 1:1). In Him, God has made an everlasting covenant for all time, made us blessed descendants of Abraham (see Gen 17:19,21; Rom 4:16-17, 19-21).

The Church now offers us this covenant, bringing to completion the word of God, the promise of His plan of salvation, what Paul calls "the mystery hidden for ages."

As once He came to Abraham, Mary and Martha, Christ now comes to each of us
in Word and Sacrament.

As we sing in today's Psalm: He will make His dwelling with those who keep
His Word and practice justice (see also Jn 14:23).

If we do these things we will not be anxious or disturbed, will not have our Lord taken from us. We will wait on the Lord, who told Abraham and tells each of us: "I will surely return to you."



Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this. I did not know that The Saint Paul center existed. I saw Dr. Hahn speak about a year and a half ago and enjoyed listening to him a great deal. I am so very happy that I stumbled upon your blog and I just want to say THANKS AGAIN!

Jeremy Priest said...

This is one of my favorite Gospels because it speaks of "the one thing needful." The Catechism quotes St. Therese when she is speaking about the central place of the Gospels in her life, and St. Therese makes a powerful allusion to this text from St. Luke's Gospel:

But above all it's the gospels that occupy my mind when I'm at prayer; my poor soul has so many needs, and yet this is the one thing needful. I'm always finding fresh lights there; hidden meanings which had meant nothing to me hitherto.
CCC 127

St. Therese found the one thing needful and sat at his feet for the rest of her life!