Daily Reflection
October 8th, 2002
 Howie Kalb, S.J.
Jesuit Community
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Galatians 1:13-24
Psalm 139:1-3, 13-14, 14-15
Luke 10:38-42

One of the relevant faith messages for the Christian Community from our Scriptures today has to do with total openness and honesty.  No one is exempt from being honest and candid, whether a first-reconciliation recipient or an ecclesiastical prelate.

Paul was well aware of the hostility and criticism leveled against him in many churches he visited.  After all, he was known to have persecuted the early Followers of the Way, he was not one of the original apostles, he did not learn directly from Jesus or know him during Christ’s lifetime, he was accused of acting on his own and not in sync with the other Apostles.  We can only surmise what motives these false teachers might have had for their hostility.   

Paul defends himself by leveling with the Galatian Community in every detail of his life and teaching.  He hides nothing of his defects or his credentials.  He explains the why and the wherefore of every action and activity.  That is why Paul could write with confidence that his people “glorified God because of me.”  His honesty and openness, the best policy, not only exonerated him but endeared him to his congregations.

In the Gospel account poor Martha hides and covers up her true motivation and it backfires on her.  Like her sister Mary, Martha was looking for the attention of Christ.  Her approach was a super elegant banquet and was more than working overtime to make it come off with perfection.  Only it wasn’t working.  Neither Christ nor Mary was really paying her any attention.

So Martha pretends she needs Mary’s help in the kitchen.  “Tell her to help me.”  If Martha were honest with herself she would have admitted that her true hurt was her failure to be in touch with Jesus.  Instead she points the finger at her sister as if she is the blame for her failure.  “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.  There is need of only one thing.”  Jesus seems to imply that Martha is to forget the dinner and come be with him and Mary since that is what she really needed and wanted.  “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”  Again, true candor and utter honesty could have eliminated her hurt and brought her Christ’s attention which she craved so desperately.   How often does my lack of honesty keep me from being in touch with the Lord?

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