“School’s out for Summer!” so the lyrics of the 1970’s pop song proclaim; and indeed for many this weekend marks the start of a long-awaited holiday period lasting several weeks. For children, students, teachers, lecturers and others in the education sector the next six weeks (or longer) provide the opportunity to rest, relax and take things easy. Many people will be looking forward to holidays either at home or abroad. They will be busy packing suitcases, buying the essentials, checking passports, making arrangements for pets to be looked after … so much to get ready and lots to do.
Of course, the summer holidays can also be viewed from a number of alternative perpectives: such as the parents who are challenged for the next month and a half to occupy the interests of their children; teachers and lecturers who will spend a considerable amount of time preparing for the start of the new academic year; students who are preparing to leave their family home to relocate to university and others who may be revising for re-sits of unsuccessful examinations. It’s not all sun, sand, sea and sangria!
This Sunday, the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, we are given some insight into different viewpoints as we hear the Good News from Luke’s Gospel about the two sisters Martha and Mary. Jesus and his disciples had been welcomed to their house, and whilst Martha is dashing about trying to make sure that the food is served to their guests, Mary sits at the feet of Jesus and listens to his teaching. It is clear that amid all the hustle and bustle, she realises the importance of listening to Jesus and what he has to say. Martha, however, is a bit like so many of us as we prepare for our holidays – rushing about doing so many things, that we lose sight of what is important. As Jesus says to her: “Martha, Martha, you worry and fret about so many thaings, and yet few are needed, indeed only one.”
Let us ensure that we do not lose sight of what is important in our lives – and make time for God amongst our busy schedules and our relaxation and our holidays.
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