Gospel Reading August 15th
The Dormition of the Theotokos
(Luke 10:38-42, 11:27-28)
Luke 10:38–42 recounts the visit paid by our Lord to the home of two sisters, Mary and Martha. Upon entering the house, Jesus is welcomed by Martha. She then continues to pre-occupy herself with serving while her sister, Mary, sits at the feet of Jesus listening to His teaching. Upon noticing that Mary is no longer helping with the serving, Martha becomes annoyed and says: “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me.” (v. 40).
Our Lord then answers: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (v. 41-42).
Christ makes an example of Martha to show us that by worrying about too many things we distance ourselves from God. We must learn to care about things in the right way.
Saint Paisios clarifies this point further: “when a little child is playing and is all absorbed with his toys, he is not aware that his father may be next to him caressing him. If he interrupts his play a bit, then he will become aware of his father’s caresses. Similarly, when we are preoccupied with too many activities and are anxiously concerned about them, when we worry too much about worldly matters, we cannot become aware of God’s love. God gives but we do not sense it. Be careful not to waste your precious energy on redundant worries and vanities, which will turn to dust one day”.
We must not aimlessly waste our spiritual energy on vain anxieties and pursuits, leaving nothing for God. If we notice that we are easily preoccupied and anxious with school, sports, work or other social obligations to the detriment of our spiritual life, then this should alarm us. Like Martha we may have become closer to creation than to the Creator. We have become attracted to that which will turn to dust rather than to that which is eternal. Let us then be vigilant and aim with the grace of God to lift the quality of our spiritual life.
 Saint Paisios, “With Pain and Love For Contemporary Man” published by the Athonite Monastery of St. John the Theologian in 2006
Source: August-September 2015 Lychnos Edition