Fr Thomas’ Homily for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Listen to Jesus, Be Christlike

Sophy was delighted that, Jack, an agent of an Australian university came to her home.  Indian universities are not good enough for her daughter.  The mother was so excited about the Australian prospect and became too busy preparing a ‘beda khana’ (sumptuous meal) for Jack.  She left her daughter to learn all about studying in Australia and the courses they offer. Seeing all the fretting around by Sophy, Alan called out and said, “You may want to join us and learn about the fantastic opportunities for your daughter in Australia.  I am not here for a treat.  I am on a mission to recruit students to our universities.  So let me explain things to you.”  I was reminded of this story, reading in the Gospel of Luke about the hospitality of Martha and Mary to Jesus.

Jesus made a resolute journey to Jerusalem, to ascend on the cross first and then to Heaven.  Christian life is a pilgrimage to heaven.  In that pilgrimage faithful followers of Jesus will have to suffer cross before reaching heaven.  Along the way to Jerusalem Jesus taught how to pray, how to be charitable, and about the demands of the discipleship.   On his way to Jerusalem Jesus went into the home of his friends Martha and Mary, he wanted them to be interested in his teaching about the discipleship, about everything else including hospitality.  Therefore, Jesus told the busy buddy, Martha, to look at her sister Mary who made the wise choice of listening to Jesus, wanting to be a good disciple.

Like Martha, we also can be too busy trying to please God, yet lose the plot. There are people who are too busy praying novenas, and going to retreats to please God, yet fail to be Christlike in their dealings with their families and friends.  A good Christian would be more focussed on discerning how they can minster to others like Christ.  In every juncture of life he would ask “What would Jesus do?”  Until we learn to pray as Jesus taught and as charitable as Jesus demands, no pious activities will please God. Therefore, as a good disciple lend your ears to the word of God always.