by: Br. Noel Corcino [cjm]
When people ask for our help, we tend to think of providing them tangible materials without listening to their outpouring sentiments to truly understand their prevailing situation.
The world today is in dire need of help. It is inevitable to ask for help. Most of the time, the concept of help is associated with material needs instead of the equally important need of interpersonal relationship.There are people who just simply need our presence, somebody who is willing to listen and share both the laughter and tears.
In our gospel today, Jesus is not preventing Martha to continue her work but simply reminding her that part of preparing something for somebody is also to listen which is exactly what Mary, her sister, did. Listening is the most neglected aspect in dealing with people who are in need of help. When people ask for our help, we tend to think of providing them tangible materials without listening to their outpouring sentiments to truly understand their prevailing situation. To listen first to people who are in difficult situations is an act of charity, as we empathize and seek ways to remediate, lessen, or comfort them from what they went through in life.
In our society today, the prevalence of murder is alarming–terror attacks, execution-style drug related frays and even racial killings are undeniable. People who are perceived problematic and thus considered as threats to the society are killed like a worthless animal. The world leaders are resorting to bloody strategies in subtlety “shielding” their respective countries. What is clear in such way of addressing societal problem is an instant solution that deem to help the majority. But the truth is, the mainstream are now even put to moral battles and bloody situations. Many of our brothers and sisters needs a listening heart not judicial killings. To kill the person who is in difficult situation and condition is not the best answer to provide security of a nation. Rather it is a blatant refusal to hear the wilting soul.
Mary has chosen the best part, Jesus said. For indeed, he himself had been listening to us sinners. He has chosen the best part. He died a shameful death, not just to obey the Father but save the whole human race. His decisive act to embrace the cross is the best help he could give after he listens to our begging and dying souls.
Every one of us has the capacity to listen. God created us with equal dignity thus we all deserve to be listened to. If God is tired of listening to our endless and repetitive failures then we all die in just a blink of an eye much quicker than death penalty. But God has chosen the best “rehabilitation”- his compassionate listening heart which continues to direct us to the path of life.
Our Founder Saint John Eudes had heard the groaning of souls that were severely ill in the society. He went out on his way to give formation to the church workers who were lost and consequently instituted shelters for young women who experienced abuses in the society. In fact, the works of the Eudist Fathers and the Our Lady of the Good Shepherd Sisters is a perpetuation of the listening heart of our founder. Charity rules, is one of the golden rules that St. John Eudes lived by.
We really need to listen to each other so that we can also choose the best part that we can extend to our brothers and sisters. If we want to help, it should be something that is truly needed expressed from a heartfelt conversation. We should not presume of an immediate material solution as the best help we could extend especially if such solution is not binding. The Lord is not hindering us from sharing material things to the needy. But he is also telling us not to forget the best food of our souls that we can only get by listening wholeheartedly to his words. Amen
Lord, constantly inspire us to be charitable towards others by listening to you in our brothers and sisters who are experiencing difficult journey in life. Remind us constantly that the best part of preparing our life to enter your kingdom is to listen to your life giving words.