Word for the Weekend: July 18

Martha and Mary by He Qi (pronounced Huh-Chee)

This coming Sunday offers a real contrast to the previous week's gospel. July 18th will be the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time and this time Jesus spotlights the one who does little more than sit at his feet and listen to him - while another is busy about the work of hospitality in the home where Jesus is staying. And where is he staying this Sunday? At the home of Martha and Mary.

(I'm a fan of He Qi's work (above) and I'm especially intrigued by his take on this scene and the familiar story it represents. Jesus appears to be the serious teacher, hand raised with a sage's authority. What do you see in the faces of Jesus, Mary and Martha? What do you read there? What slant on the story does this painting give you? What slant does the story give you on the painting?)

To prepare us to hear Luke's account of Jesus' visit to the sisters of Lazarus, the lectionary gives us another account of hospitality, this one found in the Book of Genesis where Abraham and Sarah entertain strangers who have a hidden identity - and an unbelievable prediction to make to this elderly couple. Want to read "the rest of the story?" You'll find this Sunday's scriptures and commentary on them here and if you've got children in tow on your way to pray this weekend, look here for hints to help them prepare to hear the Word.

And yes! St. Paul will step in between the first lesson and the gospel with a "word from our sponsor!" We'll be hearing Paul writing from prison and revealing what has been hidden "from ages and generations past..."

Subscribe to A Concord Pastor Comments


  1. I am so glad you posted this image-
    and your questions about it-
    it is definitely a challenge for me, but a very good challenge-

    Martha looks tired and discouraged and burdened-

    but Mary looks the opposite-
    "lifted up", and hopeful- almost exaggerated and extreme-

    Jesus looks kind of without emotion, to me-
    just, I think, "matter of fact", "it is what it is", or maybe, "take it or leave it"...
    and he is not looking at either Mary or Martha-
    he says to Martha that she is anxious and worried about many things, and the way he is in this picture says that he is very confident in what Mary has chosen to do- and he tells Martha just that, that Mary has chosen "the better part"-

    I have more thinking to do on this-
    and for this I am grateful.

    thank you.

  2. I have a couple more images which I'll post with my "Word reminder" on Friday or Saturday and with my homily on Sunday. I like your interpretations, Michelle, and look forward to hearing from others, too.

  3. I'll look forward to your other images-
    and I also look forward to hearing from others...


Please THINK before you write
and PRAY before you think!