Man needs to work in order to earn for a living, in order to survive, in order to eat. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church tells us that “Work has a place of honour because it is a source of riches, or at least of the conditions for a decent life, and is, in principle, an effective instrument against poverty. Work makes man busy.
The readings this Sunday reminds us, disciples of Christ, on how we should work, on how we should serve the Lord:
BUSY TO SERVE OUT OF GENEROSITY. In the first reading, when Abraham saw the three men standing by, he made them stop to rest for a while under the tree, brought water to wash their feet, and gave them something to eat. He became busy, and in return they were blessed with a child, an unexpected gift.
There is a great difference between a work done out of generosity and work done out of obligation. Usually, we put more soul on the task when it is out of generosity and we never get tired of doing it. As disciples of Christ, our help on others, or service to others should always be out of generosity and not out of obligation. We do not give alms just because we were asked. We do it out of our generosity. We don’t do the acts of mercy just because it’s the Jubilee Year of Mercy. We should do it out of generosity.
BUSY TO LISTEN TO THE WORD. In the Gospel we find Martha very busy in the kitchen, focused on the externals. Jesus questions her not because of her activity but because of her attitude about it: "You are worried and upset about many things." She was anxious of so many things. "Only one thing is needed." "Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Jesus commends the hearing of the word at his feet.
As disciples, we should not be very busy with the externals to we forget the essentials. We cannot be disciples who simply go and preach and that’s it. We have to take time out to relate to Jesus. If we are visited by a friend, we don’t just leave them alone in the receiving room alone and or let them talk with somebody else. When a friend visits us, we give them time and our presence.
One must not succumb to the temptation of making an idol of work, for the ultimate and definitive meaning of life is not to be found in work. Work is essential, but it is God and not work who is the origin of life and the final goal of man.
And so my dear fellow disciples in Christ, may this be a reminder that despite our busy schedule during the week, doing generous things for other people, busy earning a living, praising God through our labours, do not forget to set aside sometime to Listen to the Word, to sit near the table and receive the holy communion.