Knights Templar

The Grand Priory of Knights Templar in the United Kingdom


Weekly Prayers

Grand Priory of Knights Templar in the United Kingdom

From the Office of the Grand Priory Chaplain General


Fr Joseph Fernandes                                   20th July 2019.

We are all confronted with choices on a daily basis.

There are times when we know deep within us the choice to be made, and if we could do it again, not only we would not hesitate, but we would have a sense of peace about it, perhaps even thanksgiving and gratitude for the discernment made. But there are also times when we thought we were making the right choice, but we not realise there we could have made a better choice. Hindsight is great thing, if only we had the chance to choose again. Perhaps we carry regrets, or even guilt and shame. How many of us could say ‘je regret rien’ about past choices? Only too often we seem to correlate the choices we make, and its subsequent approval or rejection, with our sense of being good, accepted, worthy, and faithful.

When it comes to the story of Mary and Martha, this is exactly how history has interpreted it. If Mary made the better choice, we conclude that we should follow her example, and look at Martha less favourably. Martha comes across as an activist, and Mary as contemplative. Throughout Christian history, the contemplative life, although not always understood, became synonymous with a higher spiritual attainment. But is this the only reading of the story? Can we possible say that Mary is necessarily better, holier, more loved and closer to Jesus? I don’t think this text is really even about Mary and Martha but about us and the choices we make. That does not mean we are to copycat Mary. If Jesus wanted us to do that why didn’t he tell us clearly what that “one thing” is? He could have at least given us the five easy steps to choosing the better part, but he didn’t. Jesus is saying that choices matter. We are always making choices. I wonder how many choices we make each day? Sometimes we choose unconsciously, sometimes quickly and easily, other times with great deliberation and struggle. Some choices are insignificant. They are forgotten the next day. Other choices have great meaning and significance and the consequences are long lasting. Our choices can shape who we are. They can establish in us patterns and habits of how we see and act, the words we speak, and the ways we relate to each other. Our choices can set a trajectory for our life. Our choices make a difference. While we might distinguish between Mary and Martha there is a common theme, presence. Mary and Martha are two ways of being present. Both ways are necessary, faithful, and holy. There is not simply one choice that is to be made for ever and always. We are always to be discerning the one thing needed in this time, this place, these circumstances. What is the better part given our particular situation? How do we be present, show up, to the divine presence that is already and always before us? That’s the question.

Some days Mary will be our guide and other days Martha will be our guide. Either way we must choose. What is the one thing needed right now, in this moment? Not forever or what you think will fix all your problems and let you live happy ever after. Just for now. What is the one thing needed that will keep you awake, aware, open, receptive, and present to Christ? Choose that. That is the better part but hold your choice lightly because there will be another choice to be made after that, and another after that one. We choose our way into life, love, relationships, faith, and even salvation, and the choices matter.

And when we pray, remember those on our Order’s lists who rely on you and me to pray for them and for others in hospitals and care homes; and those who care for them.

God bless,

Fr Joseph