Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time


The Gospel and first reading this week tell two stories of hospitality. Martha welcomes Jesus into her home and Abraham welcomes the Lord into his tent. We all know what it feels like to be welcomed, and when we have been denied a warm welcome.

Perhaps Martha and Mary give us a rounded view of welcome. We welcome the person as an encounter, rather than fretting about what the guest demands of us in terms of our efforts. The Lord’s promise to Abraham, as his guest, is that in a year’s time he will have a son. We are invited by our guest to recognise what they bring to us, rather than what we give to them.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant/child is listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.



Jesus came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking. (Luke 10:38-39)

  • How do you make people feel welcome?
  • Have you ever felt unwelcomed? What happened?
  • Have you been aware of times you welcomed Jesus?
  • Sit at Jesus feet and listen to him speaking.



Now Martha, who was distracted with all the serving said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.’ (Luke 10:40)

  • Have you ever felt that everything is left to you to do?
  • Reflect on what distracts you from listening to the Lord?
  • Have you ever thought the Lord doesn’t care?
  • What is the Lord saying to you about these feelings?



But the Lord answered, ‘Martha, Martha,’ he said, ‘you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.’  (Luke 10:441-42)

  • What do you worry and fret about?
  • What does all the worrying and fretting achieve?
  • Which of the sisters do you think you are?
  • What is the Lord saying to you about your answers?



I became the servant of the Church when God made me responsible for delivering God’s message to you, the message which was a mystery hidden for generations and centuries and has now been revealed to his saints. (Colossians 1:25-26)

  • What has God made you responsible for?
  • Who has delivered God’s message to you?
  • How does it feel to be called a saint?
  • What is God’s message to you today?



The mystery is Christ among you, your hope of glory; this is the Christ we proclaim, this is the wisdom in which we thoroughly train everyone and instruct everyone, to make them all perfect in Christ. (Colossians 1:27-28)

  • How and when do you recognise Christ among you?
  • Are you thoroughly trained in this wisdom?
  • How does it feel to be called to be perfect in Christ?
  • What is the Lord instructing you in this reading?



The Lord appeared to Abraham at the Oak of Mamre while he was sitting by the entrance to the tent during the hottest part of the day. He looked up, and there he saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them, and bowed to the ground. ‘My Lord,’ he said ‘I beg you, if I find favour with you, kindly do not pass your servant by.’ (Genesis 18:1-3)

  • Why does he address the three men as ‘my Lord’?
  • Do you ‘rush’ to welcome visitors?
  • Have you ever let the Lord pass you by for any reason?
  • What does the Lord reply to your invitation of welcome?



‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ they asked him. ‘She is in the tent’ he replied. Then his guest said, ‘I shall visit you again next year without fail and you wife will then have a son.’  (Genesis 18:9-10)

  • What is the greatest gift a guest has given you?
  • Is it better to give or to receive?
  • Do you know what Sarah’s response to this promise is?
  • What is Lord promising you today?

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