16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Reflection
There is another way, a better way, a good way…
Martha is distracted in her work of serving the food. She is anxious about getting everything right and she is disturbed that Jesus does not seem to appreciate her efforts while Mary just sits there listening to Jesus. Don’t you care about me Jesus; am I not important… Am I not loved? Jesus sees her anxiety and her pain, and gently deflects her fixation: Mary has chosen the good portion that will not be lost. The true hunger of Mary’s heart is being filled.
Martha is suffering from the most fundamental of all our human illusions which sees the source of our happiness and well-being outside of ourselves, in the acceptance and approval and caring of other people. When we as children first experience that love is conditional, unreliable or manipulative, there is a knot of fear that clutches and our hearts and leads us to conclude that we are not truly cared for, loved or lovable. This damages our sense of self and our sense of well-being. In the language of psychotherapy, this basic love trauma is known as the “narcissistic injury”, which leads to experience a sense of abandonment and betrayal.
Without being plugged into the source of unconditional love, our life journey thereby takes the path of addiction to praise and the applause of the winners’ circle. Fearing vulnerability our hearts become frozen and hardened. Without purity of heart, we block ourselves off from God who is Love, Light, and Truth. It is from this place of darkness, illusion, and distraction that we build up a sense of grievance; we are not appreciated, we are not important and we are not loved as we should be… And others are to blame!
How can we find our footing on a different path, a better way, and a good portion? Jesus tells us that he is Truth and that the Truth will set us free. This must be our first priority in that recreation of a pure heart. Jesus also tells us that this purity of heart is not dependent on our outer purification rituals that make the outside clean and shiny, while inside it remains corroded and blackened.
Walking in relationship with Jesus we are led to practice truth on three levels that will lead us to that total renunciation, surrender, and vulnerability of that love that is the core of our being.
We must begin by letting go of all attachments to pride, control, and manipulations that so readily become the cornerstone of our relations with each other, between peoples and between nations. This first practice of truth must become habitual so that we have that new energy through which the next step becomes possible.
Without a map of our illusions, we are in a maze without any hope of escape. This is the nature of sin which gives power and authority to the passions and dramas of the egoistic being that enslaves us and blinds us. Gazing ever deeper into the eyes of Christ, we come to discover that mirror that will reflect and map that gives us the way out of our illusions. Through this humility of Truth, we come to see ourselves through the eyes of God.
The third step requires an ability to see with “the eye of the heart” so as to become fully human with the embodiment of non-dual consciousness, complete, enlightened, pure and holy. Mastering the capacity to remain in a state of resonating heart to heart so as to maintain a calm focus beyond the constant chatter of the mind. Coming to the state of Nous, the mind of the heart in that “space of NOW between the then that we keep replaying and after that is the foundation of our fear”.
This spiritual awakening is often referred to as the Fifth Way Path beyond consciousness and the path towards conscious love. Transforming our hearts to see reality by using the energy of eros through that self-emptying kenosis process. This is a process that mirrors the midwifing that we are called to practice for each other.
This is the food that we are called to choose so that our hearts resonates with the heart of Christ who is Truth, Light, and Love. In the words of St Francis, “let us begin again, for up to now we have accomplished nothing”. Love is the only transforming evolutionary power for our world if we are not to destroy our mother and each other.