Discussion Questions

First Reading
Genesis 18:1-10a

F1. Please review the Reading. What does this story of Abraham’s hospitality signify? What part of the story is most meaningful to you? Why? Why do you think God intervened in human history? Does the fact that there were three men have any significance?

F2. Do you think Abraham did too much in welcoming the three men? What determines your degree of hospitality?

Second Reading
Colossians 1:24-28

S1. “I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body.” Where is this “lack”? What happens to people when they unite their suffering with Christ’s for other people?

S2. Does knowing Christianity as a religion change your attitude toward suffering for others with Christ? What might your attitude be (concerning suffering with him for others) if you might know Christ as a real person?

Luke 10:25-37

G1. Are you Martha or Mary? Are you a dash of each? Would you be agitated with Mary for not pitching in? If you were Martha what would you have done differently? Is it possible to be contemplative and active in ministry at the same time? How?

G2. Was Martha wrong and Mary right? Which one is an example of ministry to others? Which is an example of the root of ministry? If they are both right, what does Pope Francis say was the reason for the reprimand?

It is important to understand that this is not the contrast between two attitudes: listening to the word of the Lord in contemplation, and practical service to others. They are not two opposing attitudes, but, on the contrary, they are two essential aspects of our Christian life, aspects that should never be separated, but lived in profound unity and harmony. …

Why is Martha rebuked, even if gently, by Jesus? Because she considered only what she was doing essential, because she was too self-absorbed and preoccupied by things. … For a Christian, the works of service and charity are never detached from the main source of all our actions: listening to the Word of the Lord, being, like Mary, at the feet of Jesus, in the attitude of the disciple.

And this is why Martha is reprimanded.

July 21, 2013: Pope Francis, 
Like Martha and Mary, Christians Need Contemplation and Service

Anne Osdieck

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson