Gospel LK 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."
Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, Come by the means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Thy well beloved Spouse. Amen.
“Martha Martha…” Can you hear His voice? Listen. Can you hear the tenderness and the familiarity in His voice as He speaks to Martha. “You are anxious and worried about many things.” There is a friendship here which is close and honest. Martha just comes right up to Jesus and feels the freedom to speak her heart to him very frankly and without pretense. You can feel some hurt in her heart and perhaps some anger, or envy. Jesus listens to Martha, but He defends Mary’s activity. “Martha Martha …there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” Perhaps this is not the first time that Martha has reacted this way and Jesus has drawn her attention to it. Can you see Martha’s face soften as He says her name twice; “Martha Martha” , it would seem that there is an understanding about something, between the two of them and our Lord is gently drawing her attention to it.
Martha was doing a great thing, she was serving the Lord, but the one thing needful was missing and that one needful thing, was living in the Presence of God, doing her work with Jesus. She was missing His company and so was feeling the burden and loneliness of the work. Our Lord wants us to Be with Him, to share our work with Him, to share our day with Him. When we lose this interior awareness of the Presence of God, we can feel alone, and burdened and the heart can become ‘miserly’ and shrivel up and turn to pettiness and self. Perhaps one place of focus in this beautiful Gospel is to seek to value what our Lord values and that is: To remain in His Presence, to Be with Him, always, at all times, attuned to His company and His voice. To do the work we have to do, but to do it with Him, aware of His loving gaze. Then all becomes sweet.
“Let us be earnest: Let us repair the lost time, let us return with full assurance to the Father of Mercies who is always ready to receive us affectionately. Let us renounce for Love of Him, all that is not Him. He deserves infinitely more. Let us think of Him always. Let us come to know Him, and when we come to know Him, we shall then also think of Him often, for then our heart will be with our one true Treasure” (Brother Lawrence-”Practice of the Presence of God.” )