CATHEDRAL OF ST. HELENA

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Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C



In Yiddish there is a word called “Patchka”. It literally means to be hurried or busied about. We might say it is similar to “moving in 50 different directions at once”, and worrying about all of them. Many of us can relate. If you have ever hosted a large Thanksgiving dinner or big event for the first time, then you can understand. In this week’s Gospel we have a perfect description of this in our Lord’s good friend Martha. She is the one who is trying to organize, cook, set the table and take care of all the particulars for a dinner with Jesus, while her sister Mary just sits and does not help her set up. Instead she is engrossed in the words and teachings of our Lord. What Martha is doing is important and does need to be done. Someone has to take care of the details. The problem is that she is overcome, worried and stressed out, and our Lord knows her heart. So Jesus wants her to relax…just breath…He shows her that Mary has the better part by just being with Jesus and not stressing about the dinner. This is a good lesson for all of us as well. So often in my own life I have been what my mother called “a “nervous Kinaydell” – (a Kinaydell is a dumpling that when it boils begins to move, shake and dance all around in the water). I often would get so caught up in all of the details, that I would miss out on the beauty and joy of the event I was putting together. This can happen spiritually too. We can get so caught up in trying to pray perfectly and sing on key, to get the kids to be good, to dress nicely, to find a parking spot, to sit in our favorite pew that sometimes we miss the graces and blessings at Mass, all because we were “Patchka – ing “ around. What the Gospel shows us is that we need to shift our focus. We need to remember that it is about the Lord and not the cares or worries. To place ourselves in the presence of the Lord even while we are doing the tasks that need to be done. Let us learn from Mary as well and take time to simply “be” with Jesus. Mass is your time to commune with the one who made you, so take some time to listen and get blessed then the worries will all go away. You’ve earned it! …Something to think about…May God richly bless you always…


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