Tag Archives: Mary and Martha

8 October, Tuesday – Being Mary, being Martha

8 October 2019

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Jonah 3:1-10

The word of the Lord was addressed a second time to Jonah: ‘Up!’ he said ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to them as I told you to.’ Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was a city great beyond compare: it took three days to cross it. Jonah went on into the city, making a day’s journey. He preached in these words, ‘Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed.’ And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least. The news reached the king of Nineveh, who rose from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth and sat down in ashes. A proclamation was then promulgated throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his ministers, as follows: ‘Men and beasts, herds and flocks, are to taste nothing; they must not eat, they must not drink water. All are to put on sackcloth and call on God with all their might; and let everyone renounce his evil behaviour and the wicked things he has done. Who knows if God will not change his mind and relent, if he will not renounce his burning wrath, so that we do not perish?’ God saw their efforts to renounce their evil behaviour, and God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.

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Luke 10:38-42

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.’

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It is Mary who has chosen the better path

Since I was a young child, I must say I have a propensity to surround myself by ‘busy-ness’. I would just keep doing and before I knew it time would pass. There were many times when I would go on ‘autopilot’ and I would end up in a place, often not remembering the steps I got there. For that reason, I would not be able to remember if I had locked the car, or remember where I left my keys, or other items.

This was the reason why the story of Mary appeals to me; the way with she took time to sit at Jesus’ feet and just ‘be’. I am more like Martha, and I struggle when I am asked to be like Mary.

Over the years however, I have learned that it does not have to be one or the other. Instead, I have learned to take strength from being Martha by becoming more like Mary. During my day, I take time to sit at the feet of Jesus for short periods of time. I imagine myself looking at Him and asking Him for direction, daily. Over time, I have become a lot less distracted, and more ‘in tune’.

Along with this, was my realization that Mary and Martha represent more than just choosing between working mindlessly and sitting at His feet. Instead, the two sisters represent all interactions between my faith and the world.

For one, is the ‘faith and works’ discussion we often see in the book of James.

I see Martha as our works in the world, when we try to do our best for others. Yet, without being Mary, all these actions are not plugged into our faith; into Jesus. Rather than being one or the other, I embrace being the both of them.

We don’t have to choose to be either Martha or Mary. Instead, we can draw strength from each of them together!

(Today’s OXYGEN by Paul Wee)

Prayer: Jesus Lord, help us to learn how to be with You at all times. Help us to always listen to You.

Thanksgiving: Thank You Jesus, for teaching us to always focus on You as we go about our days here on earth.

21 July, Sunday – Trust, and don’t worry!

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we welcome to the team Brenda Khoo, who is currently studying at a local university.

Born a Catholic, she has always loved writing since young, and can write across a diverse range of different genres. She came to Oxygen recently, after wondering how she could contribute her writing talents to the church. She had been inspired by many contributors in the daily gospel reflections series compiled by the Daughters of St Paul, as well as in numerous church bulletins, notably by the Church of Christ the King and Novena Church.

Her decision to join the team of contributors at OXYGEN is her first step to serving God and His church. Brenda hopes to inspire many readers, especially from her age group (she is in her early 20s), to take up their cross and grow in their journey of faith to Christ in life.

21 July 2019

Jesus Our Friend

The mystery of today’s celebration is Christ among us as our friend. We welcome him as Abraham welcomed the Lord at Mamre, and Martha and Mary welcomed Christ at Bethany. 

– The Sunday Missal

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Genesis 18:1-10

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.’

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Colossians 1:24-28

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.

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Luke 10:38-42

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.’

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It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her

Finding a job right after getting an undergraduate degree is a daunting task for many, including me. Being disabled makes it even more challenging. Needless to say, I have spent countless hours losing sleep and worrying about whether I will be able to get a career which matches my education skills. Amidst the uncertainties that lie in the future, I realise that setting aside a part of my day to pray the rosary helps a lot. I enjoy praying the rosary and gazing at the lovely icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Just as a frightened and anxious Jesus runs to His Mother’s open hands for protection, Mary is our Mother too and opens her hands to us. I always get a sense of peace when I simply gaze at Mary, knowing that I can trust in her that she will intercede to Jesus for anything that I pray for. Jesus may not tell me during prayer which job I should apply to, but listening to what He says in my heart about what I need to do in my life to make myself a better person is certainly more important. And I have also learnt to put my trust in Him, that He’ll eventually guide me to the correct employment.

Brothers and sisters, there are many challenges that we face in life: finances, health, relationships, employment, school, even wars and disasters… the list goes on and on. However, Jesus is always calling us to spend some time to listen to Him. Just simply spending a few minutes of our precious time with Him. Whether it be through prayer, mass and various forms of worship, Jesus will always give us His guidance and protection to lead us to where He wants us to serve Him and bring glory to God. And Mary is always by our side, interceding for us to Jesus no matter how much difficulties and worries we are facing in life.

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

(Today’s Oxygen by Brenda Khoo)

Prayer: Please help us to listen to You, even when we are worried by so many things in our life. Help us to place our trust in You that You will guide and protect us in life. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Dear Lord, thank you for always being by our side, and for Your Mother to be with us too. Thank you for spending time with us to help us with all the challenges and worries that we face in life. Amen.