The Good News

Welcome to The Good News Blogspot! The Good News is real and alive in my own life. Jesus has fulfilled in my life His promise of fuller and more abundant life (John 15), a quality of life I could not have created for myself. I invite you to share experiences with me so we can all grow into the life He offers us all.

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Catholic by call, Jesuit by nature, a preacher/spiritual conversation partner by choice. Learning about getting older, learning to live in the present moment, one day at a time. Learning to let go and laugh.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Mary Moment in a Martha Afternoon

I was having a terrible afternoon. My bank was assessing me a $32 penalty for a 61 cent overdraft – my fault to be sure, but the “fault” of a long-standing customer. Companies charging my credit card for services I no longer wanted made me fight my way through phone menu after phone menu before finding a human being to speak with me. My budget refused to be reconciled. Worst of all, this trying, exhausting work began to generate in me a sense that my life had no meaning apart from this work, that I was doomed to do this depressing work forever, and that my frustration marked me as a failure at the business of life.

It was a Martha afternoon (Luke 10:38ff). She had begun to see herself as no more than the tasks of her daily life, their frustrating routine draining her of joy and peace. Jesus described her accurately as being “anxious… about many things.” But his invitation to her was not to leave undone this necessary work of life, work that in fact was a benefit to herself, to him, and to Mary. Instead, he invited her to undertake her work as part of relationship, in this case with her sister Mary and in particular with him. When she can feel herself part of his peace and joy, he says, then the difficult work of life – and even the hurts and challenges of life – cannot overwhelm her nor discourage her. He will give her peace and will give meaning to her work, despite her frustrations and suffering.

I found - on my Martha afternoon – that, as I was able to pause at my desk in the midst of the clamor, I could feel that deeper peace cushioning my frustration. The peace reminded me that the challenges I faced could not negate the value of my life, because my life comes from him. Even better was to leave my desk at the end of the afternoon to preside at our community’s daily Mass where – surprise! – the Gospel of the day was the story of Mary and Martha. We gathered to participate once again in Jesus’ victory over sin and death. This victory places sin and death, which include frustration and discouragement, under his feet and gives us hope and freedom. “By your cross and resurrection you have set us free! You are the savior of the world!” He filled me with his peace as I invited him into my afternoon’s frustration, so that I could enjoy the fullness of life that only he can give.

St Mary’s Hall, Boston College, Tuesday, October 10, 2006


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