*** 1st Reading ***

Jonah 3: 1-10

 The word of Yahweh came to Jonah a second time:  

 “Go to Ni­ne­veh, the great city, and announce to them the message I give you.”  In obedience to the word of Yah­weh, Jonah went to Nineveh. It was a very large city, and it took three days just to cross it.   So Jo­nah walked a single day’s journey and began proclaiming, “Forty days more and Nineveh will be de­stroyed.”

 The people of the city believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.  Upon hearing the news, the king of Nineveh got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, put on sackcloth and sat down in ashes.  He issued a proclamation throughout Nineveh:

“By the decree of the king and his nobles, no people or beasts, herd or flock, will taste anything; neither will they eat nor drink.  But let people and beasts be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call aloud to God, turn from his evil ways and violence.   Who knows? God may yet relent, turn from his fierce anger and spare us.”

 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened upon them.

 

Ps 130  If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

 

**** Gospel ****

Luke 10: 38-42As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he entered a village and a woman called Martha welcomed him to her house.   She had a sister named Mary who sat down at the Lord’s feet to listen to his words.

Martha, meanwhile, was busy with all the serving and finally she said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work? Tell her to help me!”

But the Lord answered, “Mar­tha, Martha, you worry and are troubled about many things,   whereas only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from her.”

 

 Reflection gospel:

“MARTHA,MARTHA, YOU WORRY AND ARE TROUBLED ABOUT MANY THINGS.”

Martha and Mary are the customary images used to underline the active and the contemplative dimensions of life. Martha is the personification of action in the world and Mary is attention to the Lord.

The evangelist Luke recounts this occasion of Jesus’ visit to the sisters to impart an important lesson we all need to learn: it is necessary to cultivate a healthy balance between a time to move about with our busy schedules and a time to sit at the foot of Jesus.

The Church does not discourage us from attending to the many concerns and worries of life. We need to work, and work overtime if we must, to earn for our needs and meet the demands of our families. But we too need to learn to stop and spend time with the Lord in prayer before we run out of time and realizing too late that we have failed to see “the better part.”