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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings, Old Testament, Prophets

The Word Received

Submitted by on Tuesday, 4 October 2011No Comment

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Today’s Readings

  • Reading I:  Jonah 3:1-10
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 130
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 10:38-42

Today is the Memorial of St. Francis of Assissi.

At Jonah’s Preaching Nineveh Repented

Prophets proclaim the Word of God. What sets Jonah above other prophets is that those who heard him actually repented. From the smallest to the greatest in Nineveh, Jonah’s word was received. Even the king made the repentance institutional.

Many centuries after this, one greater than Jonah will remember this story and use it to denounce the generation that was privileged to hear and see Him.

Jonah, the reluctant prophet, was successful in his mission. But as we shall see, he wasn’t happy about it.

Mary and Martha

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Martha and Mary are mentioned elsewhere in the Scriptures as the sisters of Lazarus, the friend whom Jesus loved. In this Lucan story, however, no mention is made of Lazarus, and the house which Jesus enters on the way to Jerusalem is said to belong to Martha. The narrative is a pronouncement story about "sitting at the Lord’s feet and hearing his word." The actions of the two sisters towards the Lord are not compared, but rather, the significance of what they do are pointed out. Martha gets herself busy in all the chores that pertain to ministering to the Lord (diakonein) in a gesture of hospitality. Mary too was being hospitable to the Lord: she sat at his feet and listened to his word. The question that Martha raises must be the question that all ministers of the Lord would like to ask: Don’t you care that I am left alone to serve? Tell them to help me. The term diakonein is also the verb used for the ministry. From Acts, we know that there were different forms of ministry which included "table service" (cf. Acts 6:2 and context). The response that the Lord gives is not a rebuke to Martha; he simply underscores the value of what Mary was doing. The "one thing necessary," the "better part", this Mary has chosen, and it shall not be taken away from her.

More about this at The Bible Journal

Jonah 3:1-10
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1And the word of the Lord came to Jonas the second time, saying:
2Arise, and go to Ninive the great city: and preach in it the preaching that I bid thee.
3And Jonas arose, and went to Ninive, according to the word of the Lord: now Ninive was a great city of three days' journey.
4And Jonas began to enter into the city one day's journey: and he cried, and said: Yet forty days, and Ninive shall be destroyed.
5And the men of Ninive believed in God: and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least.
6And the word came to the king of Ninive; and he rose up out of his throne, and cast away his robe from him, and was clothed with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
7And he caused it to be proclaimed and published in Ninive from the mouth of the king and of his princes, saying: Let neither men nor beasts, oxen nor sheep, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water.
8And let men and beasts be covered with sackcloth, and cry to the Lord with all their strength, and let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the iniquity that is in their hands.
9Who can tell if God will turn, and forgive: and will turn away from his fierce anger, and we shall not perish?
10And God saw their works, that they were turned from their evil way: and God had mercy with regard to the evil which he had said that he would do to them, and he did it not.
Luke 10:38-42
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
38Now it came to pass as they went, that he entered into a certain town: and a certain woman named Martha, received him into her house.
39And she had a sister called Mary, who sitting also at the Lord's feet, heard his word.
40But Martha was busy about much serving. Who stood and said: Lord, hast thou no care that my sister hath left me alone to serve? speak to her therefore, that she help me.
41And the Lord answering, said to her: Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about many things:
42But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Acts 6:2
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
2Then the twelve calling together the multitude of the disciples, said: It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

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