The Bible: The Power of Rebirth

Jesus Visits Martha and Mary

Jesus Visits Martha and Mary

Reflection on the Gospel of the Tuesday In The Twenty-Seventh Week Of Ordinary Time

 

Luke 10: 38-42

In todays Gospel reading Martha demonstrates hospitality by welcoming Jesus. She then busies herself with the tasks of serving the guest. Meanwhile her sister Mary sits at Jesus’ feet, listening to his words.

This pleasant story takes a sharp turn when Martha, distracted by her many tasks, comes to Jesus and asks, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me”. Jesus’ response to Martha seems less than empathetic, scolding her for her distraction and worry, and praising Mary. Now we may find this a bit unfair on the part of Jesus.

The problem with Martha is not that she is busy serving and providing hospitality, but rather that she is worried and distracted. Martha’s distraction and worry leaves no room for the most important aspect of hospitality gracious attention to the guest and thus prevents her from being truly present with Jesus.

Can you identify yourself with Martha. Feeling pulled in different directions, feeling worried and distracted by many things is so common in our fast-paced world. But the lesson here that the Lord wants to prominently point out and we so easily miss out it that if all our activities leave us with no time to be still in the Lord’s presence and hear God’s word, we will no doubt end up being anxious and troubled. And eventually end up with a kind of service that lacks love and joy and will also become burdensome.

Thus both listening and doing, receiving God’s Word and serving others, are vital for us the followers of Jesus Christ, just as inhaling and exhaling are to breathing. Yet how often do we forget to breathe in deeply? Trying to serve others whether it is at work, family members, friends or strangers without being nourished by spending time in the presence of our Lord is like expecting good fruit to grow from a tree that has been uprooted.

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