Mary & Martha

Martha and Mary.  This is one of the “classics”!  Every time I hear this Gospel, I feel for poor Martha.  Afterall, she is just trying to serve the Lord!  “Martha, Martha you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part.”  I’m thinking “well, if Mary would help, then Martha wouldn’t be anxious and worried, the serving would be done, and Martha could be sitting at Jesus’ feet too.”  Why is Jesus siding with Mary?

In the first reading, Abraham is visited by three men. He serves them just as Martha serves Jesus.  Abraham’s result however is being blessed by the Lord with a promise of a child. What is the difference between Martha’s approach and Abraham’s?  Both are actively serving the Lord.

As I prepared to write this reflection, I felt the same burden as Martha.  I have a lot to do; I want to get this done and move on to other things. I feel that often. I am trying to serve the Lord in my job, at home, and in my every day. Oftentimes, I try to get right to the serving and miss the most important step: sitting beside the Lord and listening to Him speak. We first need to sit at Jesus’ feet in prayer and listen to what He wants us to do. When I go about my life without talking to Jesus and WAITING for Him to speak, I feel exactly how Martha feels, anxious and burdened. I feel that way because God wasn’t the creator of my plan, I was. As a result, I carry the weight of my decisions instead of God. When God is asking us to do something and we act, He takes that burden from us. The difference between Abraham and Martha is that when the men arrived, Abraham was seated and resting in the Lord’s presence. His service came out of his prayer time whereas Martha’s service came out of duty.

This is a great reminder that step one is always listening to the Lord and waiting upon His instruction.  Once I have prayed, it is only then that I can fruitfully serve.