Today we celebrate the feast of St. Martha. As per ususal, there are options for the readings. The options for a Gospel reading are from John 11 or Luke 10. In these two readings, we see two different sides of Martha. In John, Martha is filled with faith, and even echoes the words of St. Peter in his great confession: “I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” Probably the picture that most remember of Martha is from the story in Luke 10.
Jesus has come to the house of Martha and her sister Mary. Martha is feeling the burden of all the serving, while her sister is sitting at the feet of the Lord listening to Him speak. So Martha says to Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” But Jesus does no such thing. Jesus says, “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” Bummer for Martha, huh?
I don’t know about you, but I can really relate to Martha. I feel badly for her. Unfortunately, many may look at her as something of a whiner. But that’s a bad rap. Tell me you’ve never felt like that before! So, does Jesus give her a slap in the face with His response? Absolutely not! Perhaps Jesus was saying, “Martha, I do love you and care about you. Just relax. Take a moment and just BE with me.” You see, we often spend so much energy DOING for Jesus that we just forget to BE with him. Martha was DOING, Mary was BEING. There is a time and a place for both. Like in everything, it’s all about balance.
Father, help us to remember to set aside time to just BE with Jesus; to listen to Him and enjoy His company. Then we will have more energy and enthusiasm to DO. Amen.