In the coming weeks readings, we see there are many ways we can follow the Lord; we can proclaim the Good News, pray for and serve others. But one method usually gets overlooked; we can just listen to Jesus, like Mary did.
In the time of Jesus, the disciple sat at the feet of a teacher to learn. In Matthew’s gospel, for example, Jesus taught the Beatitudes as His followers and the crowd sat below Him (Matthew 5:1-12). But the followers were male. Mary caused controversy when she stepped out of her social role as a woman to seat as a disciple. And Martha expected her sister to play the host as she did. The Lord added to the discussion when He approved of Mary’s decision. Serving had merit, but hearing the Good News stood above any responsibility as host.
In Luke 11, Jesus turns to the subject of prayer. When a disciple asked Him for a teaching on prayer, He actually wanted to know what sort of relationship the Lord had with Yahweh. Jesus responded by calling God His Father, petitioning for the immanence of the Kingdom, beseeching for daily needs and seeking forgiveness in light of the coming divine reign through salvation from the Evil One. Here, Luke presented a shortened version of the Our Father but 11:3 needs comment. The Greek word translated as “daily” is controversial. It can mean “everyday” or it can mean “for the morrow.” In the context of the prayer as a petition for the Kingdom, the later sense could be translated as “bread for the day (of the Lord)” In other words, it asks for the eternal bread, that is the sustenance of the Eucharist.
We all have busy lives. We may tell others about our faith and we try to serve family, friends and community. But when do we take the time to simply listen to the Lord? When you pray or read the Scriptures today, take a few moments just to sit in silence. What is Jesus saying to you?