Colossians 1:15-28/ Psalm 52/ Luke 10:38-42
Choose the Better Part
Life Is Full of Choices
Life is full of choices and the process of maturing involves learning that our choices have consequences, either good or bad. Sometimes, we make choices with great difficulty. Sometimes, we have to make impossible decisions.
One of my ex-boyfriends had a sister who died during childbirth because she had to choose either her life or the baby’s. Sometimes, we make a foolish choice and suffer the consequence.
Also, making choices can be difficult when it is not clear what is right or wrong. A lot of times, we are not sure what is the right choice because life is complicated. We all need to sort out our priorities because we can’t have it all.
Mary and Martha’s Choices
In today’s gospel story, we met two sisters who made different choices and Jesus praised one of them. Martha was busy with tasks because when one has guests visiting, one has stuff to do to make sure they are comfortable. The more precious the guests are, the more effort one puts into.
Meanwhile, Mary sat close to Jesus and listened to his teaching. Jesus thought Martha’s many tasks were a distraction from the more important thing. Remember that Jesus and his followers abandoned everything to spread God’s kingdom because they thought the end times were imminent. For Jesus, preparing things to entertain him because he was a precious guest was a nuisance. The only thing that mattered was to learn about God’s kingdom and to gather more followers, their chosen family and community. That is why Jesus said, “There is only need of one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Choices for Christians
“The brave one” in Psalm 52 chose evil. The psalmist made the choice to trust in the faithfulness of God. As people of God, we also face challenges that force us to make choices.
Can we choose to do the right thing when doing so might inconvenience us, or worse, make us to be targets for opposition and attacks? Can we beat our selfishness and greed to make the small and big sacrifices to help others and improve the world? Can we lay down our pride and pain to forgive those who hurt us?
There are a lot of situations that we face in which we should make decisions and choices. Paul’s letter to the Colossians also remind us that our lives as Christians are full of choices. Paul chose to be an apostle of Christ and dedicated his life spreading the gospel. He praised his church members for choosing faith and the hope promised by the gospel. They all chose to be faithful to Jesus Christ during a time when being Christians didn’t make their lives easy.
Choosing to Live by Our Religious Teachings
Life is full of choices in general, but for religious people, our choices have graver implications because we are expected to live by our religious teachings. Since we Christians believe in loving our neighbours with the unconditional love with which God loves us, not doing the right things is as big a sin as doing the wrong things. This is our concept of sin. This is what we learn from Jesus. We are called Christians because we choose to follow Christ in how we live. We pray for God’s guidance because we often forget that we should live like Jesus did.
“The Better Part” and Christlike Choices
The story of Martha and Mary teaches us to constantly choose the “better part” in our lives. Diligently learning the gospel teachings, like Mary, is one of them.
We might also choose meaningful relationships over the superficial relationships that our society wants us to pursue. We might choose to love unconditionally and forgive without limits. We might choose conversations and peace over hostile confrontations. We might choose to pursue a life of service over endless secular ambition and greed. These are only a few examples of the Christ-like choices we are encouraged to make in our lives.
Let us go with Mary’s choice and Jesus’ words of praise in our hearts and minds. Let us resist our society’s values and peer pressure by choosing to follow Jesus, who rejected the secular values to focus on being faithful to God. Let us sort out our priorities so that they will match God’s kingdom values of love based on equality and justice. Let us choose to live like Jesus did. Let us choose “the better part.”