Weekend Reflections for 7/15/16
Martha and Mary
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” (Lk 10: 41-2)
The two sisters welcomed Jesus into their home as a guest and each was being hospitable in her own way. Mary is fascinated with Jesus and his message of the Kingdom and just sits and listens intently. Martha is busy in the kitchen preparing a welcome meal. I don’t think Mary was lazy, just completely focused on her guest. Like most sisters they each had their own role to play when guests were present, one entertained, the other provided. Jesus chides Martha not because she’s busy but because she’s scattered, “anxious and worried”, possibly overly concerned about appearances and the impression she’s making. Do the dishes match? Where are the fancy napkins? Is the food seasoned just right? What will he think? Will he appreciate my efforts?
A good host/hostess is concerned primarily about valuing their guest, making them feel “at home”, comfortable, safe and secure in their company. I think that’s the “one thing” Jesus says is needed. The commentary in the Missalette we use at White House says it better than I can: “The ‘one thing’ is to be single-minded, single-hearted, open-minded, open-hearted. The ‘one thing’ is to surrender ourselves to Jesus’ Presence, whether sitting or standing, resting or working, receiving or giving.”
Fr. Ralph Huse, S.J.