Host to Jesus, the Word Made Flesh

by | Jul 12, 2022 | Formation, Reflections

Jesus is God’s most tender call to us humans.  He is at the same time the warmest human host to God that waits at the door to be let in.

On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus stops where Martha and Mary live.  The sisters, not like those in Samaria, play host to him.

Maybe the visit is the short rest that he has a right to.  And those who walk with him, should they not have a bit too of free time?  To go to buy food?  But be it as it may, St. Luke says that Martha and Mary host just Jesus.  Not even their brother Lazarus is there.

Jesus, yes, is with just the two women.  It seems as though the two get equal time or chance.  But this time is, in fact, a strong time to learn.  For it is the time to know what it means to follow Jesus.

First of all, we learn that he is not one of those Rabbis who do not teach women.  What he does shows that he is not with those who say:  “The words of the Torah should be burned rather than entrusted to women.”

Host to the one who is at the door and knocks

Next, we get a clear lesson on the trait that is the mark of those who follow Jesus.  And it is to sit at his feet and hear his word.  This the good part —not better, for the original text does not compare— that we cannot skip.

Hence, the teaching does not say that contemplation is better than action.  What it says is that to be a Christian is to be contemplative.  That is to say, there is need of just one thing, which is to hear Christ’s word so as to do it later.  We have to know him so we may proclaim him to others.  The clergy, the laity, the religious, in cloister or on the street, all have to contemplate.  If they do not do so, then they are not true Christians.  And to host Jesus, the Word made flesh, by hearing and doing his word, means to be of his family (see also Lk 11, 27-28).

This is to say that those who are truly Christ’s are men and women of prayer.  They do what the one who is a man of prayer does.  He is always before the Father in prayer (TWVDP 32), and can thus do all (SV.EN XI:76).

Yes, Jesus goes about doing good, thanks to his contemplation.  Thanks to his ongoing hearing of the Father’s word and search of his will. Hence, in Jesus, contemplation and action are one.

And to pray and to act as Jesus means not to fret and fume about many things.  It is not to be a Church that has no pastoral sense and treats people as chain stores do.

Lord Jesus, like the one who appeared to Abraham and Sarah, you let humans play host to you.  For you want to bless us even more and you are not outdone in hospitality.  Grant to us who do not live by bread alone to sit at your feet, to feed on your word and on your body and blood, and then to feed others, too.  We shall thus make one in ourselves Martha’s action and Mary’s contemplation (SV.EN XI:33).

17 July 2022
16th Sunday in O.T. (C)
Gen 18, 1-10a; Col 1, 24-28; Lk 10, 38-42