A reading from the gospel according to Luke 10:38-42
38 Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
39 She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
40 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.”
41 The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
42 There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
Reflection: Worried about many things.
Good News: Choose the better part and it will not be taken from you.
Jesus had a special relationship with a family whose members were Martha, Mary and Lazarus. The three lived in the village of Bethany, around 2 miles or 3.2 kilometers from Jerusalem. Obviously, the family has a high status in the community with enough resources to welcome Jesus and His disciples.
Martha became very busy to make Jesus and his entourage comfortable with food to eat and a place to rest. Mary, on the other hand, sat at His feet and listened attentively to His teachings. Martha asked Jesus to let Mary help her but instead, Jesus tenderly pointed to her how worried she was about many things but Mary chose the better part – that is, taking the opportunity to listen to the Word of God and no one will take away this privilege away from her.
Martha was busy and so is Mary. The former was distracted but the latter was focused. We can say, Martha was the active and pragmatist person while Mary was the contemplative one. The two sisters need each other. There is a need to do to kitchen works but more importantly, there is a need to take all opportunities for prayer and listening to the Word of God.
Many people relate so much with Martha. With a lot of work to be done, they become anxious and they lose their peace of mind. Jesus is telling us one thing that we really need: focus. If you are doing the household task, focus on it with joy and enthusiasm. Yet, be like Mary too. If it is your prayer time, concentrate on it and no one should distract you. The secret to a happy and successful life is balance between work and prayer which includes listening to the Word of God.