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Luke 10:38-42

The Word of God

Now as they went on their way, Jesus 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."

Luke 10:38-42
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • It is easy to be distracted and fragmented when many things call for attention - even what is good can lose its lustre if we forget what busyness is about. Martha seems to have been distracted the many things she had to do; she forgot who she was doing them for.
    • I pray that I, like Mary, can be drawn to the presence of Jesus and, like Martha, can be honest with him about what distracts me.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Here am I, sitting at Jesus’ feet, ready to receive his word into my heart. The call of Martha is strong and familiar – there are so many practical things to be done, so many other ways in which I might spend my time. I bring to the centre of my attention not what Jesus asks me to do but think, instead, of who Jesus asks me to become: a loving heart, formed in God’s image.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • This is not the only time that Jesus calls his disciples away from their work to ‘rest a while’ with him. Good news indeed. For him discipleship is top priority. Work is of course necessary. But keeping busy can become a preoccupation in itself and can shield us from meeting the Lord. ‘I have no time to pray!’
    • Lord, if we do not meet, I shall never come to know you. But knowing you is what life is about. As Jesus says to his Father, ‘This is eternal life, to know you, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent’ (John 17:3).
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • In this episode Jesus acts contrary once again to acceptable Jewish practice. He is alone, perhaps, in the home of two women who are not his relatives. Furthermore, he is teaching them! Jesus uses every opportunity, no matter how common or domestic, to speak about the kingdom of God – a kingdom of ‘righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’ (Romans 14:17).
    • Both the active and contemplative dimensions of Christian life are necessary. But this event shows that listening to Jesus is of primary importance. As a true disciple, Mary recognizes that he has far more to offer her in terms of spiritual nourishment than she or Martha can offer him. Lord Jesus, help me not to be so ‘worried and distracted by many things’ as to neglect giving sufficient time to listen to your word. May I be faithful to Sacred Space, which is a choosing of ‘the better part’.
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    • Most of us have sympathy with poor Martha. It seems that her efforts to be a good hostess are not fully appreciated by Jesus. But the main point here is about priorities. What is the more important response to Jesus on this particular occasion? Mary recognizes that Jesus has far more to offer her than she or Martha could possibly offer him.
    • ‘There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part.’ Jesus is highlighting here one of the fundamental requirements for being his follower: namely, to listen to the word of God, to reflect upon it, and to put it into practice.
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    • I think of myself in this scene and hear Jesus’ words addressed to myself. He calls me away from over-busyness and reminds me of what is central.
    • When there are many things to be done and time seems short, I pray that I might remember what Jesus says; that I might think like Mary even when I have to act like Martha.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. He knew what fate awaited him there, and he needed a time of quiet with his friends. Mary sensed this, but Martha, God bless her, wanted to be kind to Jesus in her own way, which meant fussing over a meal.
    • Lord, there have been times when I was more in touch with my own habits and emotions than those of the friends who come to me. Give me antennae like Mary's.