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.” (Gospel for July 21, Lk 10:41-42)
Imagine yourself in Martha’s shoes. While your seemingly lazy sister Mary sits at the feet of Jesus, you are the one preparing the food, setting the table and serving the guests. And then Jesus chides you and compares you unfavorably to your sister. Jesus’ words can strike us as harsh. Wasn’t Martha doing a good thing by serving our Lord? Yet if we are honest, we recognize that it’s all too easy to get caught up in busyness doing good things and miss the opportunity to encounter Christ. By God’s grace, may we hear these tough words from Jesus, resist this tendency to busyness and strive to choose “the better part.”
This month, I challenge you to spend five extra minutes sitting before the Lord before or after Sunday Mass. Second, I challenge you to participate in the Faith in Action Sacramental Gifts program or pray for those receiving the sacraments, that they might choose “the better part.”
If it were you with Jesus that evening, would you have been more likely to be a “Martha” or a “Mary”? What does it mean to choose “the better part”? How did spending a few extra moments with the Lord before or after Mass affect your encounter with Christ in the Eucharist?