Jon 3:1-10 / Lk 10:38-42
Today’s gospel, which recounts a conversation between Jesus and his aggrieved hostess Martha, has been a source of considerable irritation to many women across the generations. “Martha was right!” they protest. “She had a right to expect some help from her sister, and it was unfair of Jesus to brush her off so lightly. What if Martha had said, ‘Fine, Jesus, I’ll just choose the “better part” too. Then we’ll see what happens to the fine dinner you’re expecting!’”
A little harsh, yet it does seem a fair reaction. But it’s not. And to see that, we have to go back and listen more closely to Jesus’ words to Martha. The fact is that he doesn’t respond at all to her complaint about the lack of help in the kitchen. Instead, he looks at the bigger picture, the big patterns in Martha’s life. Listen to him: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and upset about MANY things; only one thing is required…”
Jesus had observed Martha for quite awhile and had looked into her soul. What he saw was a woman who was not at peace. She was a good soul who had fallen into the trap of letting the ordinary tasks of daily life overwhelm and rule her days, instead of just the opposite.
That very thing can happen to any one of us, if we forget that we’re not walking through our days alone, if we forget that the Lord walks with us. If we attend to the Lord’s presence and trust him, he’ll give us the courage and strength we need; and he’ll help us to keep our vision clear and to know what really matters and what does not.
Walking consciously and faithfully with the Lord is the “one thing that is required.” Everything else will follow, most especially a calm and peaceful heart.