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When we reflect on what it means to be a disciple, service and sacrifice are among the actions that come to mind. But as Jesus shows us in today’s Gospel, discipleship takes shape in many forms.  

Our passage begins as Jesus arrives at the home of two sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha hurries to welcome and serve Jesus as a guest in her home. Mary takes a different action. Instead of tending to Jesus, she sits at his feet and listens to him speak.  

Martha criticizes her sister for choosing what she perceives as the lesser action. But as Jesus shows us through his response to Martha, listening and learning are essential when answering the call to discipleship. When we take the time to listen and learn, we can make our service to others that much more powerful.  

At CMMB, our service is rooted in lessons. We listen to the needs of the communities we serve and execute sustainable projects that honor the dignity of all. 

It through listening and collaborating with our communities that we have been able to witness positive change—in the number of women seeking prenatal care during pregnancy, the number of children delivered by skilled birth attendants in local health facilities, and the number of community health workers trained and motivated to see these numbers increase even further.  

We conclude this week’s reflection with the words of CMMB Volunteer Susan Stringham. Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to speak with Susan while she was serving as a nurse educator at Mutomo Mission Hospital in Kenya.   

As a volunteer with CMMB, Susan focused her work on capacity building and training local health workers. She knows firsthand the importance of embracing collaboration to drive sustainable change. Her words remind us that though the need remains, signs of change are already evident.  

“There’s so much work to do in Africa, but you can see the progress,” said Susan. “You can see what’s being done here, especially in maternal and child health. People here see that. The long-term impact of CMMB—and the focus—makes a difference in this area for many people.”  

If you’re interested in learning more about Susan and her time in the field, we encourage you to visit our blog by clicking HERE 

Portions of today’s reflection were adapted from and inspired by the Loyola Press Sunday Connection.