Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Daily - 7/20/2010

Luke 10:38-42

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. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,"Lord, do you not care that 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 part and it will not be taken from her."


This was Sunday's gospel and has been discussed by many who read this already, but I really couldn't let it pass. This is where the rubber meets the road in spiritual development.

In my own relationship with Christ, "choosing the better part" has become my focus. Ultimately, God calls us to know Him, love Him, and become one with Him. It is important to get this -- on the other side of prayer, praise, and the sacraments is a PERSON.

This raises a huge question ... how does one get to know an invisible entity that one hand is vast beyond our comprehension, but on the other is a person like us (remember - we were created in his image) and wants to be an intimate part of our lives?

God tells us to seek Him first and His righteousness, and all else will be given to us. He tells us to ask, seek, and knock. Whoever asks is answered, whoever seeks finds, and to whoever knocks -- the door will be opened.

Those are beautiful words, but they are also abstract. What specifically to do? I've been focusing on that question a lot lately. My current best answer is that it is very important to make the effort -- hopefully on a daily basis -- to spend time with God. During that time, one thing I do is ask Him to show Himself to me. To let me get to know Him. To tell me what He wants me to be. To purify me. To help me put Him first in my life. To give me what I need so that I may do His will.

A helpful hint -- if I want to get to know God, I should physically put myself near Him. One can do this from anywhere, but for those of us who aren't mystics, physically getting up and being near Him helps. We can do this via adoration, mass, and the sacraments.

We can also do this by daily meditation (i.e., not just reading) over the Scriptures. The Scriptures are the written form of the Word Incarnate -- Christ Himself. They tell the story of God's relationship with man. We can learn an awful lot about Him by opening that book up, selecting a short passage, and diving deep into it. In fact, this is one pathway that has been used throughout the centuries to a truly intimate and loving relationship with Christ.

It is very easy to get caught up in good works and good practices, like Martha. So easy that we can often fall into the "trap" of doing good works for their own sake -- it's the right thing to do, it helps others, it needs to be done and nobody else is doing it, it feels good, maybe it makes us look good, whatever. When we do that, we can forget the ultimate purpose, which is to do the will of the Father. To get to know God, and to truly understand the will of the Father for us, we need to spend time with Him and listen to Him. We need to choose the better part, just like Mary did.