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Mary Chose What’s Best

Mary Chose What’s Best

By Osmaro de Leon

In the Genesis scripture it tells us how Abraham received men as visitors and assisted them. He treated them like they were one and gave them the best he had to offer. The best thing he had to offer though was his valuable time. This reminds me of a story of three Missionaries who arrived at a house of an elderly couple. This couple was really poor, their walls were made of mud, their floors were of dirt, and they slept on a rug made of palm leaves. In the corner of their house, they had a jar of water. In the other corner they had a humble table with chairs that were stuck together with nails. The kitchen they cooked in was also made of mud, and they cooked with firewood. On the table they had an old and damaged radio. Every night before going to bed they would listen to the radio for 15 minutes. Even though they were poor they still offered the missionaries a place to stay and a meal. As the missionaries saw how this elderly couple lived they felt guilty and didn’t want to accept what very few they had to offer. The couple insisted and insisted for their visitors to stay the night and eat with them until eventually the missionaries gave in and said yes. In the morning when the missionaries were ready to leave without telling the couple, the elderly couple stopped them. What they said stuck with the missionaries throughout their whole travels. The couple said “go and help the needy, because to us God blesses us with what we need, and he even gave us more, because we could share a moment with you guys. May God be with you in your travels.”

Today’s Gospel reminds me of a painting I saw one time of the famous painter Velasquez from Spain. In the painting Mary is at the feet of Jesus looking up at him listening to his words. Martha is also in the painting; she is really busy with the tasks of the house. There is  an elderly man who is bothering Martha at the same time which is making her angry. This doesn’t mean that Martha is doing something wrong or incorrect when she’s cleaning or cooking; imagine a world without people like Martha. Jesus calls her name two times, and says “you worry about a lot of things, but Mary chose what’s best.” In the painting the elderly man represents stress. In the age we live in, we focus more about our worries instead of worrying about what is best, the Word of God. When we are in that mind set, it is like saying we are alone with our problems. This is definitely not true. God is always with us and will always be. With the routine we have and our daily tasks, of course we’re going to acquire stress and sometimes even depression. If we would be more attentive to the Word of God, we would receive a visit from Jesus; only then we would be able to hear God’s words.