The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, “My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.” Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” Then one said, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.”
Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
and speak the truth from their heart;
who do not slander with their tongue,
and do no evil to their friends,
nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
in whose eyes the wicked are despised,
but who honor those who fear the Lord;
who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
who do not lend money at interest,
and do not take a bribe against the innocent.
Those who do these things shall never be moved.
Brothers and sisters:
I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. I became its servant according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
As we contemplate the story of Martha and Mary, we understand that listening to the words of Jesus is the better part of service, and if we choose to do it, it will not be taken away from us. We hope that Martha stopped what she was doing and joined her sister at Jesus’ feet.
In his letter to the Colossians, St. Paul writes that making the word of God fully known is the service of great mystery that makes us saints. It is the way that Christ dwells in us more completely and matures us so we can proclaim Him and teach others in wisdom.
Listening to the word of God is more than being a polite host. It is a life-changing practice in which the word lives in us, grows in us, becomes a part of us, and allows us to make God known.
Those who listen to the Lord are the ones who become saints, but our busy lives can take us away and distract us from listening to the words of God. If Abraham had been too busy to recognize the Lord’s messengers, or if he was too busy serving to sit and listen to the word that prophesied the birth of his son, he may not have become the father of our faith. We do not want to miss what God desires to do in us through the Word. We too must listen and heed the words of God if we want the desired reward.
Today, think about the best time of day for you to sit with the Lord where you can be free from distractions and cares, and offer Him your hospitality by making a place for him to rest.