Monday, July 22, 2013

Martha Martha

We heard that phrase this Sunday at Holy Mass - in the Gospel - when Jesus was trying to get Martha to relax and not be so concerned about Mary sitting at His feet - rather than helping prepare the meal.  For the most part - Martha has been portrayed as a bad person - ignoring the fact that Jesus was in her house - tending to mundane activities of preparing a meal.  Upon closer inspection - one has to realize that Martha had her hands full - in more ways than one. Most likely Martha was the head of the house - the leader in the family - the one expected to see that things ran well as expected. She is the one who ran out to meet Jesus when he first came to see what had happened to her brother Lazarus - and today - she is the one focused on treating her guest properly - seeing that preparations are being made to see to His comfort. She is also the one - who like Peter - called Jesus to task - "why didn't you come sooner and save my brother from death" - and - "tell Mary to get up and help me" - a bold action - one expected from the person in a position of responsibility. It was not only Jesus who she was concerned with - He did travel with His disciples and some women - Martha had a house full - about twenty people to feed and make comfortable. Her house had to be packed - room and seating stretched to their limits - and Martha attempting this huge task alone. Placing ourselves in her situation - we can easily see her concern.
Jesus was well aware of what was going on in Martha's mind - He knew the issues at hand - still His first thought was that Martha should not worry about earthly needs - rather that she should stop to focus - on that which was really important - allowing her to place herself in His presence - to allow Him to feed her - with His words - His love. He knew - as Mary had realized - the concerns of the world would take care of themselves - that worrying about what to wear - what to eat - who to invite - when to meet - how to do - would all be taken care of in due time. To be aware that you are in the presence of the Divine - to recognize a "God moment" when it is happening - to bathe yourself in all that God has to offer - is far better than anything else. God calls each of us to be both Martha and Mary - to see to the needs of others - to offer ourselves when needed - to stop what we are doing - when those God moments happen - to allow ourselves to touch the Divine. Those moments happen often - Jesus calls us constantly - it is up to us to stop and hear His call.

Deacon Dale