This week in the Gospel lesson (Luke 10:38-42) we come to the crossroad of the horizontal and the vertical. Jesus visits Martha and Mary. Martha busies herself being a hospitable host, which was of utmost importance. Mary sits at Jesus feet and listens as he teaches. Jesus redefines what it is to show hospitality. It is not to be distracted, anxious, troubled and overwhelmed about the worries and expectations of our life which belongs to the age passing away. Just as Jesus tenderly invited Martha to put away her anger toward our Lord and her sister, so Jesus invites us to choose the one thing we need, listen to and follow him. Hospitality in the new age which Jesus brings is to be fed Jesus’ word who is “the good news of great joy for all the people.”
In the parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus teaches us who is our neighbor and to be neighbor to “all people.” He was teaching us how to live in his new age with one another on the horizontal level, within this age. In the episode following his day with Martha and Mary, his disciples ask him to teach them and us how to pray, how to communicate with God. This is the on the vertical. Jesus teaches the Lord’s Prayer. That is our gospel lesson for next week.
Where the horizontal and the vertical meet, they form…yes, the cross. This Sunday we are at the crossroads as we gather with Jesus at the house of Martha and Mary. Will we be distracted with the obligations, anxieties and a search for happiness of this age or sit at Jesus feet and hear the news he brings of “great joy for all the people?” Jesus tenderly invites us to come to him and listen.