Thought for the week

Me Time for Jesus

Someone once remarked to Samuel Beckett: ‘In the bible, there’s no instance of Jesus laughing’ to which Beckett replied in his droll way: ‘and would you blame him?’ He had a point: Jesus healed people and they, apart from one, didn’t bother to thank him. The bible records occasions when he was exhausted and fell asleep out in a boat with a storm raging at sea.

   So there were times when he needed to get away – me time as we say nowadays. One of those occasions is recorded in the gospel of today’s Mass. He had been commissioning 72 followers to go out and spread the Good News and now he was glad to kick off his sandals and accept Martha’s invitation: Martha and Mary, are sisters of Lazarus, his friend. Though not a scripture scholar, I venture to posit that Jesus visited Martha and Mary  just to rest: ‘shoot the breeze’.

   Martha, as her name implies, was mistress of the house; a house-proud woman. I’d say, she was up at all hours that morning, high-dusting and low-dusting. ‘I mean what would them neighbours say – “she invited Jesus to her house and the mutton was overcooked, the herbs and spices were off!”’  Poor Martha. All Jesus needed was ‘down-time’ – a friend with whom he could share worries. Food for the soul.

   Two thousand years later, imagine if we were a community of people who had room in our souls for those want to shoot the breeze. But instead, we are Marthas clutching our little cell phones, anticipating the next message, and resembling those who inhabit Simon & Garfunkel’s beautiful song: ‘Sound of Silence’:

People talking with speaking

People hearing without listening.

Fr William