Saint Scholastica, Virgin – Readings

Commentary on Song of Songs 8:6-7; Psalm 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 upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a raging flame.

True love is all-embracing. Such was Scholastica’s passion for her Lord. For:

Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.

Such love can never be fully possessed; it always beckons one further. It is the task of a lifetime.

If one offered for love
all the wealth of one’s house,
it[a] would be utterly scorned.

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:

Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself?

Jesus replies:

Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things, but few things are needed—indeed only one. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.

Anxiety and worry should never be the characteristic of a follower of Jesus, and 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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