Tuesday, October 04, 2005

From Sermons Preached on Various Occasions
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

We read in the Gospel of our Lord on one occasion "entering into a certain town," and being received and entertained "by a certain woman named Martha." There were two sisters, Martha and Mary; "Martha was busy about much serving;" but Mary sat at our Lord's feet, and heard His words. You recollect, my Brethren, His comparison of these two holy sisters, one with another. "Martha, Martha," He said, "thou art careful, and art troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary; Mary hath chosen the best part." Now Martha loved Him, and Mary loved Him; but Mary waited on Him too, and therefore had the promise of perseverance held up to her: "Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her."

They, then, watch and wait for their Lord, who are tender and sensitive in their devotion towards Him; who feed on the thought of Him, hang on His words; live in His smile, and thrive and grow under His hand. They are eager for His approval, quick in catching His meaning, jealous of His honour. They see Him in all things, expect Him in all events, and amid all the cares, the interests, and the pursuits of this life, still would feel an awful joy, not a disappointment, did they hear that He was on the point of coming. "By night I sought Him whom my soul loveth," says the inspired canticle; "I sought Him and found Him not. I will rise, and in the streets and broad places will I seek Him."


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