Monday, July 22, 2013

Sista, Sista

Gosh I loved that show.

Did you all hear the gospel reading on Sunday, it was the story of Mary & Martha.  This reading always frustrates me because I am such a Martha, and I feel sorry that she seems to be so misunderstood. 

 If Jesus, Our Lord and Savior, was coming over to your house for a meal, wouldn't you go absolutely nuts to clean up and prepare food for Him?  Wouldn't you want to try your hardest to serve Him perfectly?  You would blow your grocery budget in order to purchase the finest foods and create a to-do list to make sure all areas of your home were neat and tidy, I mean, Jesus might have to use your bathroom!!

You finally get the house in order and Jesus arrives.  Now it's time to cook dinner!  You say hello and quickly excuse yourself to show the Son of God just how much you love and care about Him by creating a delicious masterpiece.  You really wish you knew where your sister was, who was supposed to be helping out in the kitchen (she already slacked off in the housecleaning department) when you hear her talking to Jesus in the next room.  You peek in and see her sitting on her lazy behind without nary a thought for how dinner will just magically appear.  The nerve!  Must be nice, you think to yourself, as you march in there and say:

"Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 

And Jesus responds:

Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Wait a minute...WHAT?!?!?!  What does He mean?  Mary chose the easy part, while I'm stuck doing the hard part.  I wish I could just sit around and listen to Our Lord and ask him questions and adore Him, but there's too much to do.  And if I don't do it, obviously nobody else will.

But what if Martha had decided to sit next to Mary and soak up Jesus' wisdom and teachings, then when He was done, they both got up and made dinner together?  They both would've chosen the best part, and everything still would've gotten accomplished.  Why does Martha take it all on herself to do, do, do, and constantly be a busy bee all the time?  Why does she do it with a poor attitude?

Why do I do the same?

Why is it so hard for me to sit still and pray and reflect on God's teachings?  Why do I always buy into the lie that there's never enough time for prayer if I want to get everything else accomplished?  That's the devil's trap.  

Back when I was a graduate student, I used to go to wake up at 5:30 am, go to daily 6:00 Mass, work out at the gym, shower and get to my accounting job by 8.  Then I would work my 8 hours, drive home, cook dinner and head to class from 6-9 pm.  After class, I would head home and study and do it all again the next day.  It was a crazy busy time, and on the days I would think I should skip Mass in order to have more time to get everything done, those were the most hurried and scattered days of all.  It was like going to Mass actually refocused and re-energized my day which gave me more time to get everything else accomplished.

The same is true with prayer.  When I willingly give God my time, He rewards me by having a much more balanced and good day.  It doesn't matter what we accomplish each day if we don't have a relationship with Him.  

Jesus was right (duh!).  Mary did choose the good part, and Martha and I need to hear that lesson and learn that when it's time to serve, we should do it with a joyful heart, and when it's our relationship that needs a little tending to, that we slow down and focus on that.


  1. Love love love Colleen...perfectly put, my friend. : )

  2. A great post to start the week! Upon hearing that reading I always question which I am and every time that reading comes up I always think I'm Martha. There's always the 'stuff' that keeps me from entering fully into my relationship with Christ and the things that keep me fretting as I miss the mystery of the moment.

    And there was the other reading where it says 'by this time next year Sarah will give birth to a son.' Why does that line always catch me off-guard and leave me wondering if it will come to THIS Sarah? lol.

  3. That reading always jabs at my heart as well. What's worse is every.single.time. I hear it, I still want to say "But Jeeeeesussssss..." and argue with him on it. I mean, really?!? I loved this little reflection of yours, though. It is so very true.

  4. Oh man, I love this gospel because it validates my laziness! I'm SUCH a Mary. So, yes, I also would've missed the point, because I would have used Jesus' visit as an excuse to avoid working. "Shut up, Martha. I'm being a welcoming hostess to Our Lord."

    Our pastor's homily was pretty awesome yesterday, all about "Ora et labora", needing both things, and how they all sat down to enjoy Martha's meal when Our Lord was finished speaking. ;)

    Now, if you want to talk about Abraham and how much he makes me want to smack him, I'm ALL ready for that!

  5. I always bristle when it's the Mary and Martha reading, too. Oh, that Mary! So lazy! Just sitting there when Martha's doing all the hard work. What are they going to eat if Martha doesn't do it? Where are they going to sit if Martha doesn't clean it? They may as well be sitting in a peg sty, eating mud if not for Martha.

    Every year- EVERY YEAR!- Father has to remind me in his homily that it was the fact that Martha did none of that out of love for God, and so her efforts were rendered useless. And then, couple that reading with the OT reading, about Abraham and Sarah doing the same things as Martha, but out of love for God, and so their efforts were pleasing?

    Ugh. It's honestly the hardest reading for me to sit through. But the one I need the most, clearly. To remember to ask God for a heart full of love, or else everything I do with my day is useless.

    1. I couldn't have responded more perfectly!

  6. I am a total Martha too. Thank you for posting this, it was just what I needed to read.

    It's funny, when the kids are acting up I know it is usually because they need more time with me and their dad. it's usually when I have been frantically cleaning and trying to do house-stuff, thinking that if I just finish one.more.thing then all will be right in the world. But I fail to notice that when *I* am acting like that, feeling so frazzled and stretched, it is because I need more time with *my* Father, and less time to finish my to-do list.

  7. Ooooh, I have a post in my head (not ready to come out yet) about this! Aren't we all Martha's? No, wait, I take that back, my sister is a Mary. Takes. Her. Time. On. Everything.

    Balance is the key.
    Great post Colleen, it's on all of our minds I think!

  8. I was JUST reading this story to my girls a couple days ago. And every time I read it, I have a hard time with it too. Because, in a way, aren't most of us wives and mamas Marthas? I know I am! I'm always wondering how on earth I'm going to get everything done. But the days I skip my devotional, or Bible study, those are the craziest days. Poor Jesus, having to pound all of this into our heads!!

  9. I always felt bad for Martha, too! I can totally relate to her. I loved reading your reflection on this!

  10. Oh, I saved the best for last. It took me all darn day to get here, but I'm so glad I read your post today! (well, tonight, this morning??) This is a really great reflection. I struggle with the same thoughts on prayer. There's NEVER enough time! But in reality, on the days I do, do it...there's an abundance of time, if not an abundance of grace to help me get through the day, even if it is hurried.

    Wasn't it Blessed Mo. Teresa who said to add one more hour of prayer to her sisters' schedules when they complained of having so much to do over the course of one day? The answer is always more prayer. More Jesus ;)


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