SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
" Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
When we feel anxious and suffocated and that life is a big burden, what is the cause? In my own experience, it comes from thinking that everything in my life is based on me. Everything is up to me. I need to do it. I am at the center of my problems and my life. And in front of big problems I even might turn to God: “Oh God give me the strength to fight through these problems, to fight through life.” And in the end, when my burdens become too heavy, I complain.
To me complaining is that great symptom of that illness which is the thought that I-am-at-the-center-of-everythingby-myself-and-self-reliant. For example why isn’t life a huge burden for children? Because they are in a relationship of reliance with their parents. The child says: I-am-in-relationship-and-dependence-with-you and therefore can breathe, even laugh. In this culture we think that becoming an adult means to stop relying on others, to be independent, and so also to be alone, lonely, miserable with the burdens of life, and therefore complainers.
Whereas what is most evident is that reality is given. I certainly do not create it. And 99% of the most important events of my life, events most connected with my destiny, aren’t even up to me. They are given. I simply say yes and follow. For me, this is the recognition of Christ’s presence with us. I can say You, and so I can begin to live. The conscious Christians say: I-am-nothing-in-relationship-with-and-totally-dependent-on-you-who-are-everything and therefore lacks nothing. There is really only need of one thing; being with the Mystery of Being made flesh, being with the gift giver and the gift, being with Christ.
Rev. Michael Cairnes