Today we celebrate Martha–you know, the sister of Mary. The Gospel calls them friends of Jesus. Martha welcomed Jesus when he arrived at their home. Then she scurried around to get a nice meal together for him and others. We know the rest. She became distracted by the hectic activity (who wouldn’t?) and complained that she had been left alone to do all the work. She wanted Jesus to please tell Mary, who was placidly seated at his feet, to get up and give her some assistance.
Jesus’ response is typical of him. First, he calls her by name—with great love. Then he points out that she is worried and bothered about many things that really don’t matter so much. Next, he reminds her, ever so gently, that Mary has made time for what matters most of all—listening to him, finding a balance, not letting the little things be so upsetting, and welcoming the love and beauty of the present moment.
St. Martha, help us hear this message of Jesus, too.
Jesus entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things. . . . ‘