On this sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary time, the first reading comes from the Book of Genesis. The Yahwistic author mentioned Abraham addressed “three men,” as one person, “Sir.” Abraham offered his visitors the best of his household. The quality of his hospitality was rewarded with the annunciation of Isaac’s birth. The divine visitation to Abraham portrays a God who fulfills the promise that Abraham will be the father of a multitude. Abraham’s welcoming faith had been rewarded with an experience of the transcendent God.
The Second Reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Colossians. Because of his identification with the person and mission of Christ, Paul found joy in his sufferings and regarded them as a share in redemption. In his own flesh, Paul filled up what was lacking in the sufferings of Christ. By the virtue of their baptism, all Christians are called to close the gap between what the church is and what it can be and must become. This can only be accomplished by living an authentic Christianity that will inevitably include suffering. St. Paul explains that Christ’s suffering continues in his body, the Church.
The Gospel Reading is from the Gospel of St. Luke. Jesus was a guest at Martha’s home. She was deeply involved in providing a good meal for Jesus while Mary was more concerned with receiving a spiritual meal from Jesus His words of Divine Wisdom. Jesus did not rebuke Martha. He just pointed out that Mary had chosen the more important part of hospitality, that of listening. In the Christian life, we are called to integrate the active and contemplative dimensions of our spirituality.