Ordinary Time, 16th Sunday (C)

I had the strange experience of a weekend off, so this homily is exclusive to the Pilgrim Priest podcast. I found the experience to be very odd timing. This past week I was speaking in a daily Mass homily about a book that I think is deeply transformative: The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen. The book speaks of the three steps taken by the desert fathers to enter into the love of God. They chose solitude and then silence. Finally their souls "came to rest" by entering into an interior Communion with the Almighty.

The soul of every person has a deep connection with God himself. So why do we often feel so distant from God? We are living on the surface, a place consumed with the busyness and worries of everyday life. Martha is "anxious and worried about many things." Beneath the busyness, there are often hurts and fears that are driving us. Martha is perhaps resentful of her sister, afraid of not being enough, worried about what people will think of her, etc. We actually keep ourselves busy on purpose to avoid having to go to that deeper place.

Underneath it all, at the very center of the soul, is "Christ in you, the hope for glory," as St. Paul says. We have welcomed Jesus into our hearts but we don't sit at his feet and listen to him. So how can we change this? I'm spending a lot of time on my motorcycle and instead of talking to myself, I'm trying to be grateful and quiet and notice the peaceful presence of God. Make quiet time part of your daily and weekly routine.

Abraham welcomes the visitors and treats them to great hospitality. He then becomes aware that God is in their midst. He is, in a sense, both Martha and Mary at the same time. He can be busy on the outside but peaceful and prayerful at the same time, alert to God's presence and action. You will find that you connect better with the people around you when you are connected to this quiet presence of God. The psalm says, "He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord." Don't let another day go by without learning to live in the presence of God.

(17 July 2022)

Going Deeper: Can you name a moment or a time in your life when you felt the presence of God at the core of your being? How can you "sit at the feet of Jesus" today?

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