Slow Down, Enjoy Life and Spend Time with Jesus

Homily for the Sixteenth Sunday of Year C

by Fr. Tommy Lane

Have you ever watched kids
on a merry-go-round
or listened to the rain
slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last.
Do you run through each day?
When you ask, “How are you?”
Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?
You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last.
Ever told your child,
We’ll do it tomorrow
And in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Because you never had time
To call and say “Hi”?
You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last.
When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift....
Thrown away...
Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.
(above poem by David L. Weatherford)

In the Gospel today (Luke 10:38-42) Jesus said the same thing in a different way:

“Martha, Martha, 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 10:41-42)

How right he was! What was the point in Jesus coming to visit them if they were to be so busy serving him that they did not have time to enjoy his company nor give him time to enjoy their company. We have a similar problem. We are so busy making money that we don’t have time to enjoy the houses we are so busy working to pay for. We are so busy making money that we don’t spend much time at home with our children. We are so busy that life is slipping by at a very fast rate and we need to slow it down. Where are we all going to end up at the end of life and what is the purpose of life? Life is about getting to know God, loving God and serving God.

We need time off. It is for our own good. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” according to an old saying. Buddhists take new moon, full moon, and quarter moon days off work; Muslims take Fridays, Jews take Saturdays, Christians take Sundays. It is a pity that Sunday is not always kept as a day of rest from work and a day holy to God. We need a break from the hustle and bustle of life and for our own good we need to spend time with God. “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.” (Ex 20:8) If we are too busy we can miss out on the real meaning and joy of life and miss out on a spiritual life and friendship with God just as Martha lost out when Jesus came to her. We all need silence and space for ourselves and also for God. Jesus said, “when you pray go to your private room and shut yourself in.” (Matt 6:6) That private room is making space for Jesus whatever way we do it.

You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last.

“Martha, Martha, 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 10:41-42)

Copyright © Fr. Tommy Lane 2013

This homily was delivered when I was engaged in parish ministry in Ireland before joining the faculty of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Maryland.

More homilies for the Sixteenth Sunday Year C

Martha, Mary and Prayer

Martha, you worry and fret about so many things - Mary has chosen better

Do we give God time and space in our lives every day or are we too busy? 2007

Mary at the feet of Jesus - Consecrated Contemplative Life 2010

Homilies on listening to the Word of God:

Your Word is a Lamp for my Steps and a Light for my Path

They have the Scriptures, let them listen to them!

Second Reading: The Christian Meaning of Human Suffering 2008

stories about prayer