Set Your Priorities

There is a story about a man who was preparing his favorite breakfast of hot oatmeal when his daughter came rushing in with his little four-year-old grandson. "The babysitter has been delayed," she explained, "and I've got to go to work. Will you keep Bobby for a few hours?" Dad said, "Sure," and his daughter left. Then Granddad scooped up two bowls of oatmeal. "Do you like sugar?" he asked. When Bobby nodded, he asked, "How about some butter, too?" When his grandson nodded again he asked, "How about milk?" "Sure," the boy said. But when the grandfather placed the steaming bowl of oatmeal in front of Bobby, the boy made a face and pushed it away. "But when I asked you, you said you liked sugar, butter and milk," grandfather protested. "Yeah," Bobby answered, "but you didn't ask me if I like oatmeal." Mary and Martha

  Granddad forgot to ask the most elemental question. Sometimes we forget to do that, too. We rarely set priorities, not listing in our minds what those things are that matter most. We allow life to go on, and we never center in on those things that really matter.

  In the Gospel passage Martha was preparing elaborative dishes for Jesus while Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to him. At the complaint of Martha to send Mary to help her, Jesus declared that Mary chose the better part – that cannot be taken back. What does it mean? The Jewish people were waiting for the Messiah and they were all preparing themselves and engaging in different ways to receive the Messiah. Now, the point is that the Messiah is here and now; listen to him; don’t be involved in mere preparation. Set the priority!  

  Sunday is day of the Lord. It is a day of obligation. Some set top priority to Sunday Mass; first they attend the church on Sunday and then do any other things. It is a fact that a lot of people do not set priorities for God and his church. Doing activities or attending to household things are good enough. It’s needed to keep a family going. Not setting priority to God on Sundays by pushing to attend Mass as the last activity of the weekend has become the way of practicing faith. Masses offered at different times in the weekend is done only in the Catholic Church. The protestant churches conduct their prayer and worship only in the morning on Sundays.

  I am not speaking about someone missing Mass in the morning and going to evening Mass. It is about those who make it a habitual action choosing to go only for Sunday evening. Setting a priority in doing something brings rewards at our feet. Remember what Jesus said to Martha, “Choose the better part.” Set your priority! Choose the best! Jesus is here and waiting for you the whole day. Do not wait till the end!

In the Service of the Lord,
  Fr Thainese Alphonse


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St. Bernadette Catholic Church