Most of us are probably familiar with the two sisters Martha and Mary from our reading of Sacred Scripture.
When Jesus visited them, Martha was busy about the household tasks while Mary sat and listened to Jesus. When Martha complained to Jesus that Mary was not helping her, Jesus replied that “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10:42)
Without realizing it many of us probably go through something similar in our lives. We experience the need to do things and may put off or seriously neglect the need to sit quietly and reflect. I think that there is a tension that often occurs between the need for contemplation in a world so filled with action.
While sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament during our 40 Hours Eucharistic Adoration at Queen of Angels, I found my mind drifting at times to things that have to be done: The flowers look like they are wilting. I have to pick up the canopy for the procession of the Blessed Sacrament. The altar candles look like they are burning out. Did someone get the megaphone for the procession? I am supposed to be praying but these and other worries and concerns still pop into my mind.
I am reminded from examples of the lives of saintly people like Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa of Calcutta that prayer needs to come first before any action is ever carried out. Despite their unbelievable schedules and workload, both of them were known to have spent hours each day in front of the Blessed Sacrament. It was from their intense prayer life and love of the Lord Jesus truly present in the Blessed Sacrament that the fruit of their labor became so rich and apparent to all.
So don’t ever think that you are too busy to take the time to pray and reflect. Find time to spend in front of the Blessed Sacrament. We all need quality time with the Lord and it is from the time with Him that we will find the time to do the other things that we think so urgently need to get done.
The better option is spending time with Jesus. Just ask Mary.
Fr. Ed Namiotka