I was sitting in church yesterday, listening to Deacon George’s homily. Okay, I admit I don’t know if people other than priests give homilies but Deacon George was talking about the readings of the day and really hitting home with me. And while I couldn’t tell you exactly what the verses were I will explain more as I go here.
First, the second reading of the day was from Colossians. I really paid attention because my youngest goes to a youth group at another church. I am happy he wants to associate with other kids who are Christians and our church does not have a youth group like this anymore. This month they are discussing some readings from Collosians.
Deacon George spoke about how different people like to give and to receive. He talked of how receiving is so much more difficult. To give to someone else puts the giver in control. The giver is the one that has what is being given. The giver has the timing in his or her hands. The receiver is having to accept. It seems hard for humans to accept almost anything from others. We all want to be strong. We all want to be able to do “it” – whatever it is – on our own, independently. These words were taking me back to last fall and a discussion of needing someone.
The Gospel reading was one that I have heard many times but never looked at this way. It is a reading about Mary and Martha – sisters – who are receiving Jesus and some friends for a meal. I admit I cannot remember which sister was always doing the preparing, the cooking – Martha, I believe – while the other sister – Mary – sat and listened to Jesus as he preached, taught, talked. Martha, if my memory is correct, eventually questioned why Mary was always not helping.
The discussion in the hmily went along the lines of being able to listen. Do you know how? I know listening is difficult. When I am trying to just listen to a friend – especially if that friend is hurting, I want to jump in solutions, questions. I have come, though, with age and many experiences, to discover that I need to just listen and not comment, question or try to fix. Sometimes, as it was with Mary, listening is enough. Listening is the most we can do.
Are you more a giver or a receiver? Do you find one to be more difficult to handle?
What about listening? Can you just listen? Do you want to fix or question or comment as you listen?