July 22, 2007 Sixteenth Sunday of the year C
Genesis 18:1-10; Colossians 1:24-28; Luke 10:38-42
The well known Benedictine motto is: Ora et labora, pray and work.
A Benedictine monk was transporting people from one side of the river to the other. On his oars he had written pious inscriptions: on one “ora” - pray, on the other one “labora” – work. One day an atheist came asking for a ride to the other side of the river. Seeing the inscription on the oars he started to challenge and contest the word “ora” – pray, asking: “What is the need to pray? That is stupid and useless; it’s a wasting of time and energy."
The boat was in the middle of the river, so the monk broke the oar with the inscription ora/pray, and the second one with the inscription labora/work he gave to the atheist telling him: “Now, try to paddle the boat towards the shore." We can imagine what happened. Is it not the same in our lives? Have we forgotten that our lives also have two paddles … ora et labora?
Do we live a balanced life? Do we live the life of balance between hearing and doing, praying and serving, calm quiet and purposeful activity.