Today’s Gospel: John 11:19-27 – St. Martha
Women usually identify with either Mary or Martha. I am definitely a Mary. When my guests arrive the food is ready to be served and we dig in. When it’s time to clean up, I usually tell my guests it can wait. I’ve been known to leave the clean up till the morning after because I would rather enjoy the company of my family and friends. Those of you who identify with Martha are probably cringing right now.
If I were Martha, I would be scrabbling around looking for a take-out menu so I could listen to Jesus speak and just breathe the same air as He is.
There’s a balance in all of this somewhere. The one preparing the dinner could stop for a few minutes to listen to what Jesus had to say. The one sitting at Jesus’ feet could excuse herself and help in the preparations for a short time. Even Jesus could help out by moving to the kitchen. That probably didn’t happen back then, but Jesus did like to break the rules.
And then there’s that “sister thing.” I’m an only child, but the dynamic of Mary & Martha fascinates me. Childhood roles surface as Martha chastises her sister for not helping her in the preparations; a conversation that probably happened many times over the years.
When all is said and done, Jesus tells Martha that she is “anxious and worried about many things” and perhaps that is the key to this whole story. Martha needed to be reminded that despite the dynamic of her relationship with Mary, she needed to take a breath and sit at the feet of Jesus, even if it was only for a few moments.
The age-old question is, “are you a Mary or a Martha?” What can we learn from both women to create a balance in not only our prayer life, but in other aspects of our life as well?
St. Martha, remind me to not be “anxious and worried about many things,” but to take part in what Jesus has to offer me.
Copyright 2017 Pam Spano