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Monday, October 8, 2018

Knowing the Culture from which the Gospel Springs

"Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak." Lk 10:38

When Jesus visited the home of Mary and Martha, Martha, busy about all the preparations for his visit, complained that Mary was not helping and wanted Jesus to correct her. Instead, Jesus tells Martha that Mary has chosen the better part. What could Jesus possibly mean? Shouldn't we all help one another with the everyday tasks cooking and cleaning?

Over the years, many commentators suggest that Luke was writing about the so called active and contemplative life, but contemporary cultural insight helps us realize that sitting at a rabbi's feet was the role of men called to the rabbinate. Martha is angry because Mary is assuming a role to which she could not aspire. A woman's place was in the background helping with the ordinary chores, but Jesus challenges this stereotype, not just among men and women, but what it meant to be a rabbi. Teachers and leaders had to be servants, not privileged operatives with power over others.

Today, pray to learn how to be a servant of those most in need.

Whose life of humility and service most challenges you to be good news in everyday life?

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