In reading the Gospel today from Luke 10:38-42 on the Memorial of Saint Martha, I thought how often I have been like Martha and how often I have been like Mary, her sister. Lazarus, Martha and Mary were a close family and very close to Jesus as you might remember that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
So the scripture says first that as Jesus entered their village, Martha welcomed Him. Already at the outset, Martha is very hospitable. Next we gather that she wants to make things nice for Jesus so she begins her chores to prepare to serve Him. Mary on the other hand, sits at the feet of Jesus to listen to Him and enjoy His company.
If we just stop there, it might seem a little unfair that Martha is the only one working. She obviously felt that way as this passage points out…
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”
One might agree with Martha and urge Jesus to make it fair and tell Mary to help. But low and behold, Jesus teaches us something very important about Martha and Mary and about ourselves in our daily lives…
The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
We know that we all have responsibilities in our lives. Things we have to do. I think the message I hear is that I have to bring them to the Lord and take the time to choose the better part which is Jesus and His will for me. He knows what I need to accomplish that glorifies Him so like Mary, I want to listen and then like Martha, I want to serve.
Even today when I went to the Chapel to spend time with the Blessed Sacrament, I was anxious about things. I could not settle in and the hour I planned to spend seemed to pass so slowly. God though is amazing and once I was able to let go and just spend time in His presence, 90 minutes had gone by. That old saying we use often applied to me today, “Let go and let God.” Saint Martha, pray for us!