Patterico's Pontifications


Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 3

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 9:06 am

It is the sixth Sunday after Pentecost. Today’s Bach cantata is “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid” (Oh God, how much heartache).

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 10:38-42:

At the Home of Martha and Mary

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

Ah, God, how much heartache
do I encounter at this time!
The narrow path is full of trouble
that I shall follow to heaven.

How difficult it is for flesh and blood,
that deals only with earthly and vain things,
and heeds neither God nor Heaven,
to strive for the eternal Good!
Since You, O Jesus, are now my all,
and yet my flesh is so recalcitrant,
where then shall I turn?
The flesh is weak, although the spirit is willing;
so help me, You who know my heart.
My mind stands with You, O Jesus.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

3 Responses to “Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 3”

  1. Good morning!

    Patterico (243f6b)

  2. Good morning to you!

    DRJ (15874d)

  3. The priest at mass yesterday evening had an interesting homily. He spoke about Mary being in the moment in the presence of Christ while Martha was worried about worldly tasks like serving everyone. He related this to the idea of prayer, and how we find ourselves “too busy” to pray daily because we aren’t in the moment with Christ, we’re worried about the worldly things in our life. Anyway, he told a great parable to exemplify how we often miss our opportunities:

    A man went to see his parish priest. “Father,” he asked, “is it OK for me to smoke my pipe while I pray?”

    “Why no, it is not,” the priest replied. “When you are praying you need to focus 100% of your energy on communicating with God. Smoking your pipe would be a distraction.”

    A week later the same man came back to the priest. “Father, is it OK for me to pray while I smoke my pipe?”

    “Certainly,” the priest replied. “Any moment of your life is a good time to communicate with God.”

    The moral of course, tied into the story of Mary and Martha, is that we don’t have to think of the life in the Spirit as something separate from our daily routine, even though we oftentimes see them in conflict.

    JVW (54fd0b)

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