The better part that will not be taken from us
"Darlyn, Jakelin, Felipe, Juan, Wilmer, Carlos" are the names of the children recited by those who lay down on the floor of the US Senate building, forming the shape of a cross with their bodies. According to Vatican News, these migrant children died in federal custody facilities. Before carrying out that civil disobedience, lay and religious men and women had prayed in the garden of Capitol Hill (Washington DC), had heard testimonies of migrants terrified by the idea of losing their children, and had read messages from bishops supporting protest against immigration policy, in particular for families and children. The demonstrators, including priests and nuns, were arrested by the police.
Can we regard this as a failure? If we look at it from the Gospel, quite the contrary: it can be considered as a consequence of having joined prayer and action, of having chosen "the better part", the one that, as Jesus explains to Martha, her sister Mary had chosen and would not be taken from her (Lk 10:42).
As a matter of fact, Pope Francis, in the Angelus of the following day - 21 July 2019 - told us: "Today's Gospel reminds us that the wisdom of the heart lies precisely in knowing how to combine these two elements: contemplation and action. Martha and Mary show us the way (...) we must associate these two attitudes: on the one hand, to "be at the feet" of Jesus, to listen to him while he reveals to us the secret of everything; on the other hand, to be considerate and ready for hospitality. (...) We need this hospitality.”
If we meditate on the episode of Martha and Mary in their historical context, we discover a greater analogy: at that time, only the Master's disciples could sit at his feet. Women couldn’t do so and had to be a little away. Mary, making use of her freedom and passing over these cultural precepts, placed herself among the disciples, to listen to Jesus closely. She had to free herself from the "what will they say" culture, to detach herself from the social impositions of her time; she acted freely, with courage and determination.
I ask myself and I ask you, dear friends, if we, women of WUCWO, are capable of imitating that Mary, listening to the Church who is pointing out to us four verbs today: "welcome, protect, promote and integrate," especially families who suffer separation and unaccompanied children due to forced migration in so many parts of the world (see Towards a Global Compact on Migrants and Refugees 2018 of the Dicastery of Integral Human Development).
Martha and Mary show us the two attitudes that must be united in each one of us: to listen to the Word of God, the current teachings of the Church, in order to be effective. Let us pray to the Blessed Virgin: listening, courage, determination and being able to organise ourselves to act with complete freedom. Only in this way will we be able to contribute to the revolution of tenderness that humanity and the planet require of us. Only in this way will we have chosen "the better part" that will not be taken from us.
María Lía Zervino, Servidora
WUCWO President General