Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying.
But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
We have all heard it – “Be Mary, not Martha,” or have a “Mary heart in a Martha world.” We get it, Mary chose the better part. But as a self-diagnosed Martha, this makes me feel slighted. It is really hard to “be Mary” when you are Martha – “anxious and worried about many things.”
It reminds me of the time when one of my professors asked how I was doing, and I responded, not by telling him how I was actually doing, but by telling him about how busy I was. He just smiled and said, “maybe someday, you’ll value yourself for who you are, not for how much you do.” At the time, I dismissed his remarks and responded with an eye roll that could have counted as my cardio for the day. I was annoyed and way too busy to internalize what he said. It wasn’t until many years later that I understood that my professor wasn’t saying “don’t be you,” but he was saying, “you are valued for who you are.”
Similarly, it is important to remember that Jesus never said to Martha “don’t be you” but he was saying, “Martha, I am here to spend time with you, not because you serve me or because your house is clean, but because of who you are. Please, join me.” Like the line from Jesus Christ Superstar that urges “try not to get worried, try not to turn on to, problems that upset you… Don’t you know, everything’s alright, yes, everything’s fine,” Jesus invites us to set aside our busyness, “to do” lists, worries, and anxieties and join him, just as we are.
—Jackie Lesiak is the Assistant Principal for Professional Development and teaches World History at Creighton Prep.
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.
—St. Teresa of Avila
Please share the Good Word with your friends!