Woe to you

When I was a year or two short of being a full-fledged teenager, I was invited to attend my first funeral. It was not a Catholic funeral – and as I came to know – nothing like a Catholic funeral. It was a fundamentalist, born-again, raucous affair for a person who by all measures was a backsliding, church-skipping, no-good, no-count, reprobate of a man. The preacher made no bones about where this particular dearly-departed would spend eternity. He held up the miserable failing and sinful ways of this man as a warning of what would happen when Satan got his claws into you and dragged you down into the pit. Continue reading

Model Discipleship

This coming Sunday is the 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time  and the story of Martha and Mary. In yesterday’s post we provided some context and raised the question of this gospel and the one in which the lawyer asks Jesus what he must do to gain eternal life.

Looking at these stories together, it suggests that the contrast is not between doing and listening, but between being anxious and not. Green (The Gospel of Luke) notes in a footnote (p. 436) that the contrast is not really between Martha’s doing or service and Mary’s listening, but between “hearing the word” (namely, discipleship) and “anxious” behavior (namely, the antithesis of discipleship). Continue reading