Sunday Readings and Reflections

Jesus at the home of Martha and Mary by Tintoretto, 16th century

Sunday, July 17 
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Roman Ordinary calendar

St. Alexius

Book of Genesis 18,1-10.

The LORD appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre, as he sat in the entrance of his tent, while the day was growing hot. 
Looking up, he saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them; and bowing to the ground, 
he said: “Sir, if I may ask you this favor, please do not go on past your servant. 
Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet, and then rest yourselves under the tree. 
Now that you have come this close to your servant, let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves; and afterward you may go on your way.” “Very well,” they replied, “do as you have said.” 
Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah, “Quick, three seahs of fine flour! Knead it and make rolls.” 
He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer, and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it. 
Then he got some curds and milk, as well as the steer that had been prepared, and set these before them; and he waited on them under the tree while they ate. 
“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him. “There in the tent,” he replied. 
One of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have a son.” 

Psalms 15(14),2-3.4.5.

He who walks blamelessly and does justice; 
who thinks the truth in his heart 
and slanders not with his tongue. 

Who harms not his fellow man, 
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; 
by whom the reprobate is despised, 
while he honors those who fear the LORD. 

Who lends not his money at usury 
and accepts no bribe against the innocent. 
One who does these things 
shall never be disturbed. 

Letter to the Colossians 1,24-28.

Brothers and sisters: I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church, 
of which I am a minister in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God, 
the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past. But now it has been manifested to his holy ones, 
to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory. 
It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 10,38-42.

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. 
She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. 
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” 
The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. 
There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” 

Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) 
Carmelite, Doctor of the Church 
Way of perfection, chs. 17, 5-7

Martha and Mary

St. Martha was a saint, even though they do not say she was contemplative. Well now, what more do you want than to be able to resemble this blessed woman who merited so often to have Christ our Lord in her home, give him food, serve him, and eat at table with him [and even from his plate] ?? If she had been enraptured like the Magdalene, there wouldn’t have been anyone to give food to the divine Guest. Well, think of this congregation as the home of St. Martha and that there must be people for every task. And those who are led by the active life shouldn’t complain about those who are very much absorbed in contemplation (…) and let them consider themselves lucky to serve with Martha. Let them consider how true humility consists very much in great readiness to be content with whatever the Lord may want to do with them and in always finding oneself unworthy to be called his servant.

If contemplating, practicing mental and vocal prayer, taking care of the sick, helping with household chores, and working even at the lowliest tasks are all ways of serving the Guest who comes to be with us and eat and recreate, what difference does it make whether we serve: in the one way or another?

I don’t say that we shouldn’t try; on the contrary, we should try everything. What I am saying is that this is not a matter of your choosing but of the Lord’s. (…) Leave it up to the Lord of the house.

Traditional Latin Mass Readings for this Sunday

Click here for a live-streamed Traditional Latin Mass

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