The Lord appeared to Abraham at the Oak of Mamre while he was sitting by the entrance of the tent during the hottest part of the day. He looked up, and there he saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them, and bowed to the ground. ‘My lord,’ he said ‘I beg you, if I find favour with you, kindly do not pass your servant by. A little water shall be brought; you shall wash your feet and lie down under the tree. Let me fetch a little bread and you shall refresh yourselves before going further. That is why you have come in your servant’s direction.’ They replied, ‘Do as you say.’
Abraham hastened to the tent to find Sarah.’ ‘Hurry,’ he said ‘knead three bushels of flour and make loaves.’ Then running to the cattle Abraham took a fine and tender calf and gave it to the servant, who hurried to prepare it. Then taking cream, milk and the calf he had prepared, he laid all before them, and they ate while he remained standing near them under the tree.
‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ they asked him. ‘She is in the tent’ he replied. Then his guest said, ‘I shall visit you again next year without fail, and your wife will then have a son.’
It makes me happy to suffer for you, as I am suffering now, and in my own body to do what I can to make up all that has still to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church. I became the servant of the Church when God made me responsible for delivering God’s message to you, the message which was a mystery hidden for generations and centuries and has now been revealed to his saints. It was God’s purpose to reveal it to them and to show all the rich glory of this mystery to pagans. The mystery is Christ among you, your hope of glory: this is the Christ we proclaim, this is the wisdom in which we thoroughly train everyone and instruct everyone, to make them all perfect in Christ.
Jesus came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking. Now Martha who was distracted with all the serving said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered: ‘Martha, Martha,’ he said ‘you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.’
The mystery is Christ among you, your hope of glory: this is the Christ we proclaim, this is the wisdom in which we thoroughly train everyone and instruct everyone, to make them all perfect in Christ.
Today’s readings can be very much found in most of our lives.
We all have a desire to know who is Christ, we seek Him in more ways than one and we are prepared to give our all if He ever appears in front of us. This encounter we all yearn for, to know that everything we believe in, everything we do on a daily basis, our faith, is real because Christ is real. But it seems that our faith has left us with more questions than answers.
We see this in the first reading where Abraham, knowing that it is the Lord, did everything he could. He gave his best to the Lord in the hope that his prayers may be answered. We too make sacrifices and pray because a part of us does believe that God is real.
But our faith starts to decline and eventually, we falter as our prayers may not necessarily be answered or we don’t seem to find Christ present in our daily lives. Why must there be suffering, pain, death? The very question most of us ask is the exact same thing Christ went through, and the very worse, in His life on earth. What is crucial today, is not about whether there are people suffering or dying, but rather, the reason why. Our sufferings can be because of love, deaths in order that more may be saved. A mystery indeed but one where the second reading explains that Christ is indeed amongst us.
Why do we then fail to see Him, if He is amongst us? The Gospel touches on this point in the familiar story of Martha and Mary. We live our whole lives in search of Christ, but we get caught up in doing that we fail realise that He is right in front of us. Like Martha, we may be so concerned of the setting up, of the preparations, that we fail to be Christ to others, fail to see Christ in others. We get impatient, frustrated, our pride takes over; we seek our own glory, recognition, and we end up placing Christ aside.
The mystery is Christ among you and the answer to our questions is Christ Himself. Mary has chosen the better part. Have you too?
(Today’s OXYGEN by Benjamin Mao)
Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray for a greater awareness in our lives, for it isn’t just obeying your teachings but really living them out, in order that we may recognise you in others, as well as to be You to others. Love and bless us Lord in order that we may love and bless others too!
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord for keeping your promise, that you will be with us till the end of time.