Today’s Thoughts: Here we are once again beating up poor Martha. Is that really what today Gospel is about? (Luke 10: 38-42) Is Martha really doing the wrong thing? I think not!
I have often felt that Martha has gotten a bad rap because of the way we have looked at this Gospel over the centuries. We seem to think that a person who is hardworking, hospitable and concerned about her guest is somehow less faithful, less holy than a person of formal prayer and that is just not true.
Martha is a good and faithful person, her mistake in the Gospel today is that she focuses on someone else; she is concerned about what someone else is doing rather than focusing on what she is doing. If Martha had just done her work with joy, enthusiasm and unselfishness this story in Luke’s Gospel would have never taken place.
Let us for a moment reverse the roles. Suppose Mary had come to Jesus to complain about Martha. “You know Jesus she is always working, always running around being hospitable. She should stop when you come into the house and sit and listen to you!” What would Jesus have said? My guess is that he says, “Mary, Mary, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Martha has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
You see each woman in the story chooses her journey. Choose what she does best and that becomes her better part. Martha is a worker, she does it well. Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus, she listens, and she does it well. There will always be tension between action and contemplation, between ministry and prayer, between work and quiet time. But the challenge is to pick what is best for us at that moment. What is our better part at each moment or stage of our life? What will help us to recognize God?
Martha and Mary remind us that there are many gifts and that each gift is important. We just need to recognize what is important for us and not be worried about what is important for others!
Have a great Tuesday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...