We hear this week the familiar story of Martha and Mary when Jesus comes to visit. Martha works hard to prepare everything and make things nice for the Lord. Mary spends her time at the feet of the Lord listening to him. Who has the better part? Martha the servant or Mary? Jesus tells Martha Mary has the better part. He is not suggesting we should not serve others or care for others. But he is saying we should not lose sight of our need to place ourselves in the presence of the Lord, seeking his will for us in all things. When we become too focused on doing good, we can lose sight of the source of all goodness.
As Vincentians, many of us are drawn to SVdP out of a deep desire to help others. St. Vincent reminds us that the poor are our masters and we are their servants. They are our masters not because of who they are, but because of Jesus’ mercy and compassion for them, and His desire that we care for them. It is easy for us to get out of balance, becoming totally focused on providing service to others. We can become like Martha, losing sight of the source of our goodness and the reason for our service. We need to keep a balance by spending time at the feet of the Lord being present to His will for us. Do I spend time in prayer every day? Do I receive the Eucharist with frequency? Do I spend time in adoration? Do I pray before, during and after each home visit?
Lord Jesus, thank you for the grace of your presence in my life. Help me to take time to sit in your presence, listening for your will in my life. Help me to spend time in prayer and adoration before you, seeking always to know and do your will. Let my service be in response to my love for you. Let me come humbly to you seeking always to be your servant and your presence in the life of those you bring before me. We pray all of this in your name. Amen