The Gospel according to Luke (10:38-42)
Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply,
“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.”
Opening Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to always know that it is You whom I serve. Help me not lose sight of You, and know that whatever I can do is for Your glory. Amen.
There was a commercial recently for a car company, where a young boy (probably 9 or 10) is doing all these crazy things, and saying “Dad, look!” I can’t help but think that Martha felt a little like that boy, doing all the serving for Jesus and wanting Him to notice. It’s not taking anything away from what she was doing to tend to Jesus’ needs and those of their guests, but it seems she may have lost sight of who it was she was serving.
It’s understandable to feel like that sometimes. We may do so much out of faith and love, and wonder, why doesn’t anyone notice it? Does what we do really matter at all? Of course, it does. The trick is to make sure we keep firmly in mind and heart who it is that we are really serving: Jesus.
Notice, too, that Mary isn’t just “skating by”, letting her sister do all the work. No, she is said to be listening to what Jesus was teaching, being right there at His feet, the position of one who is there to learn.
I think we can see that we need both the service (Martha) and time just to be with Jesus (Mary) as part of our faith lives. If we serve all the time and don’t take time to be with Jesus, we can grow annoyed and lose our spirit of service. If we pray all the time, but don’t help others, then we are not fulfilling the mission that Jesus gave to us, His followers. We need both, in balance. That keeps us spiritually healthy, and willing to say “yes, send me” whenever Jesus calls.
These have been challenging times with the pandemic, and so many church ministries paused or curtailed. As we (please, God) come out of the pandemic, let us ask our Lord to show us where He needs us, and also, how we can invite others to share in the vineyard with us. Our actions themselves will be an example, but may we be willing to step out in faith and actively invite others to join in ministry, too.
May we all be like Mary, seeking “the better part”, and sharing of ourselves, so that all may come to experience that “better part” of knowing Jesus and following Him everyday.
Closing Prayer: Jesus, thank You for allowing me to spend time with You today. Help me to serve You with a spirit of love and faith, and to do what I can to bring Your Kingdom a little closer, through my small acts of charity and love. Amen.
Action for the Day: Look ahead for today and the next several days, and set aside some time to just “be” with Jesus in prayer each day. During that time, ask Him to show You where You can serve Him, by serving our brothers and sisters in some way.