...about the morning commute into St. Louis is that at 7 a.m. each morning, KFUO (850 AM) returns to the airwaves, and I get to pray Matins with my dear friend, Pastor Randy Asburry. This morning as he read the NT reading in Treasury (from Luke 10), I heard something I'd always missed before. You see, one of the dangers of using a lectionary is that stories take on a life of their own and you forget that they nestle right next to OTHER stories. So I certainly know very well the pericopes dealing with the Good Samaritan, and Jesus' visit to the home of Martha and Mary. But I plum forgot that thy literally are next-door neighbors!
So, think of it: the Good Samaritan story ends with Jesus wringing from the lawyer the very word that is at the heart of Torah: mercy. And he tells him: "Go and do likewise." Go, show mercy. Go, have compassion. Go, be of service and use to another.
And THEN, we see Martha being all good Samaritanish, serving and working in the kitchen, fixing a meal for our Lord and his followers. And yet when she dares to criticize Mary and urge the Lord to tell her to get busy with the serving, Jesus stops her dead in her tracks. The result of Martha's busyness was that she was fretting and worked up about lots of stuff. Mary, on the other hand, has chosen the better part, the better portion, the chief goodie. Jesus refuses to let anyone take it from her.
The life of action or the contemplative life? Well, our Lord desires for us both. But he's utterly clear which MUST have the priority. His Word and the hearing of His Word and its preaching. That's the best, and we must never allow anyone to deprive us of it with urging to be busy. For we can ONLY "go and do likewise" when we have first sat at the Feet of the Good Samaritan and let Him through His Word spoken and sacramentally enacted bind up our wounds, anoint us, and heal us.
Anywho, kudos to KFUO for allowing us to kick off each day with the joys of hearing the Word together, singing God's praises together, and asking His blessing upon the new day He has seen fit to give us. "O Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare Your praise!"