Overlooking Christ’s Work
Reflections on Martha and Mary
We’re brought to explore another well-known, and oft-cited or quoted Gospel story this Sunday, as told to us by Luke. In a nutshell, you see Jesus visit the home of both Martha and Mary.
We also see the two diverse responses between the two leading women in the Gospel story. We have Martha who, as a common human response, is to prepare for the guest. We commonly work on preparing some refreshments, food, the overall upkeep of the home. We’re even so rattled at the thought of a visitor suddenly popping up at our doorstep that it sends us into overdrive in setting up the home so we can put our best foot forward for our guests!
But here’s another one, who saw through all the hustle and bustle of preparing for a guest. Mary saw through the busy-ness of preparing for a guest, and knew what is more essential in such instances, and that is the gift of presence. Mary understood clearly what was more important, and that is to be with our Lord who is not just any guest, but as The Guest in their household. Mary allowed herself to be enamored by the presence of Christ, as she also believes that it is her presence with Christ is what is expected of her. She stayed with Christ, allowed herself to bask in the presence of Our Lord.
Yet Martha missed out on that part. She was engrossed with all the nitty gritty of preparing for a guest that she saw Mary’s act as neglecting her duties. It is why probably out of sheer desperation, she already asked for the help of Christ to call out Mary for this, even as far as complaining of this matter with Christ herself! But Christ responded differently:
“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.”
Many times in our daily undertakings, even in living out our faith, we become so preoccupied with so many things, the nitty gritty of things, that we perhaps end up overlooking Christ’s very work in us. There are also times when we allow ourselves to become so enamored with Christ in us, in everything he does for us and in us that we could no longer leave his presence.
The point is, we have both Mary and Martha in us. We have instances in our lives when we tend to act more like Martha, while on others so much like Mary. But what is more important, and is truly the better part, is to let Christ be Christ in our lives, that we may not overlook his work, his salvific act, his grace, his love, his very self.
In a world that seems to feed on noise for its daily sustenance, let us choose the better part of being with Christ, and let the world not take it away from us.