Saint Scholastica – Readings


Saint Scholastica – Commentary on Song of Songs 8:6-7; Ps 148; Luke 10:38-42

The two Scripture readings speak of the close relationship between Scholastica and her Lord. The First Reading from the Song of Songs speaks of the nature of true love. Speaking to the young man whose company she longs for, the lover says, “Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm, for stern as death is love, relentless as the nether world is devotion; its flames are a blazing fire.” True love is all-embracing. Such was Scholastica’s passion for her Lord. For “deep waters cannot quench love, nor floods sweep it away”. Such love can never be fully possessed; it always beckons one further. It is the task of a lifetime. “Were one to offer all one owns to purchase love, one would be roundly mocked.”

The Gospel is the lovely scene in Bethany where Jesus is a guest of the sisters Martha and Mary. As Martha fusses in the kitchen preparing the meal, Mary sits quietly at the feet of Jesus. Martha complains to Jesus. Does he not care that she slaves in the kitchen while her sister has left her to do all the work? “O Martha!” replies Jesus, “you are anxious and worried about many things.” Anxiety and worry should never be the characteristic of a follower of Jesus. Jesus continues: “There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” Martha has totally misread the situation. Mary has not been doing nothing. On the contrary she has been listening to Jesus, the Word of God. It is only when we listen to Jesus that we know what we should be doing. Only then can we begin to be active. Martha was very busy but was she busy about the right things? We will not know what the right things are unless we spend time listening to Jesus. Scholastica spent many hours in prayer and reading listening to Jesus and, because of that, she knew what she had to do. When she was busy, she was busy about the right things. What about me? Am I more like Martha or Mary?

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