Winnie the Pooh, Rabbit, Martha and Mary

A Very Merry Pooh Year“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.” (Lk 10:38-42)

Patrica Datchuck Sanchez had an interesting beginning to her commentary on the Martha and Mary story in Luke’s gospel: Convinced that there is a discernible wisdom in A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh (Dell Pub. Co., New York: 1926), I consulted the portly bear for a lesson in hospitality, the central theme of today’s first reading and gospel. Edward Bear, known to his friends as Winnie the Pooh, or Pooh for short, decided to visit Rabbit. As he drew nearer to Rabbit’s home, Pooh began to hum. “Aha”, he said, “Rabbit means Company and Company means Food and Listening-to-Me-Humming!” When he called out, “Is anybody at home?” he heard a scuffling noise and then silence. He called again, more loudly, “Is anybody home?” No!, said a voice and then added, “You needn’t shout so loud. I heard you quite well the first time!” “Oh, bother!” said Pooh. “Isn’t there anybody home at all?” The answer came back, “Nobody!”

There is, perhaps, at times, a little of Pooh and Rabbit in all of us. Pooh regarded hospitality as an opportunity for food, fun and attention. Rabbit saw it as a bothersome chore he’d rather forego.

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