Bible Readings for Sunday, July 17, 2022


Perhaps the church, at its best, is “all ears.” God urges the faithful, again and again, to “listen up!”—to heed the word that gives life. So it was with Abraham and Sarah, Mary and Martha, and the early church at Colossae. So it is today as we join the assembly to hear the word of God, the word of life.

Readings and Psalm

  • Genesis 18:1-10a
    The hospitality of Abraham and Sarah to three visitors of the Lord
  • Psalm 15
    Lord, who may abide upon your holy hill? (Ps. 15:1)
  • Colossians 1:15-28
    Hymn to Christ, the firstborn of all creation
  • Luke 10:38-42
    Jesus says: Martha, your sister Mary has chosen the better part


Unexpected and Intentional Distraction

As digital tablets and smart phones keep us busy and on the go, today’s gospel reminds us of a struggle: when are we to set aside our busy calendars, duties, and to-do lists and simply rest in God’s presence, listening to what God has to say to us? This tension mounts in our gospel as Jesus addresses Martha’s busyness, worry, and distraction, juxtaposed with Mary’s contemplation, focus, and desire to sit at the feet of the great teacher. But is “quietly sitting” even possible in our age of distractions? Perhaps we can find helpful advice in our first reading, as Abraham rests in the heat of the day. In that time of rest, he was ready to receive the three guests who came bearing the news that Sarah would have a son, fulfilling God’s promise given years earlier. With the heat keeping him from moving on to other things, the guests had Abraham’s undivided attention. These readings remind us how crucial it is to set aside time to spend with God. We might even wonder what sort of things Jesus was saying to Mary. Were they profound words, akin to the “mystery” the author of Colossians addresses in the epistle? Jesus was the person in whom God was pleased to dwell, that same one who is “the hope of glory.”

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