Since April 2020, I have been jointly hosting a shared Lectio group on Tuesday evenings. The following are my reflections only, during the prayer session and as I wrote them up. Please see my separate commentary and leaflet for more information about shared Lectio, and here is the whole collection of reflections…
Gospel reading: Luke 10.38-end
In the morning I was reflecting on the healing of Lazarus and the differing responses of belief and disbelief that “the Jews” had to Jesus, and the corresponding fault-line between belief and disbelief down the middle of Martha. At one moment she is confessing Jesus as “the Messiah, the Son of God”, as do Nathanael at the beginning and Thomas at the end of John’s Gospel (Peter’s confession appears only in the Synoptics). At the next, she is concerned about the stench of Lazarus’ body.
In the evening I reflect on the fault-line down the middle of Martha the contemplative and the active.
Martha welcomed Jesus into her home. Does this imply Martha is the head of the household? Are the siblings all quite young and is Lazarus only a boy? Mary sits at Jesus’ feet as a disciple would to learn from a Rabbi. Martha and Mary are taking culturally male roles!
Martha welcomed Jesus into her home. I am welcoming Jesus into my home, to my hearth, into my heart. I have heard that the more you pray, the more you want to pray. It is true. The past few months have been a rich time of prayer and study for me. Now instead of needing to make time to pray, I find myself caught up in the prayer and needing to make time for work, chores, and people.
Martha welcomed Jesus into her home. Her tasks were necessary, and she let herself be caught up in them. My tasks are necessary too, but is it so bad that I am caught up in the prayer? Sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening is “the better part”, and that is heartening. Equally as heartening is the simplicity of “there is need of only one thing”.
“One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.”
Psalm 27.4, NRSV