Sunday, July 17, 2022

Martha’s “Need” … and Ours

Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing” (Luke 10:42). The Gospel reading for this Sunday was a subject for meditation at the 2022 International Spiritual Exercises of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, presented by Abbot Mauro-Giuseppe Lepori (currently Abbot General of the Cistercian Order). Abbot Mauro reflected on this decisive exchange between Jesus and Martha, and what He means in saying that “there is need of only one thing”:

“This is the word that Jesus wanted to penetrate into her heart so that she might meditate on it and assimilate it, so that it could do her good, do good in her life, heal it, save it, unify it from its fragmentation. The meaning of this message is not a bit of psychological or spiritual hygiene, or an invitation to commit herself to bringing order into her life, starting by getting her bad character under control. The meaning of this word is Christ Himself, the meaning of Christ for Martha, the gift of Christ for Martha, which is already a shared gift even before Martha becomes aware of it. 

“The meaning of this message is that only Jesus responds to the fundamental desire of the heart and of life: the desire for unity, the desire to find a meaning that holds everything together, that keeps us all together, that saves communion, a unity that embraces everything and everyone, in which we feel embraced by everything and everyone, embraced by the everything in everything and everyone that is God, that is the Father, that is Christ, Christ who is the incarnation of the mercy of the Father and thus the incarnation of the embrace of the good Father, the one who welcomes back with infinite joy the prodigal son who returns to Him. 

“Only one thing is necessary, ‘There is need of only one thing.’ 

“Jesus offered Martha this word that puts everything back together again in the one thing needed, which is Jesus Himself, as a gift already present and shared, as a gift that He gives to everyone.”