As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, He entered a village and a woman called Martha welcomed him to her house. She had a sister named Mary who sat down at the Lord's feet to listen to his words. Martha, meanwhile, was busy with all the serving and finally she said, «Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do all the serving?». But the Lord answered, «Martha, Martha, you worry and are troubled about many things, whereas only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from her».
Every personal conflict is essentially spiritual, says St. Ignace. It is spiritual, because there is our personal ego and the divine will. The more we listen to the divine will, and remain connected with this, the more we are capable of retaining the inner joy and peace. The more we remain connected to the personal ego, the more we get exhausted and the fatigue will very soon over power us.
Martha is overpowered by this fatigue and remains exhausted, because in her sincere love for the Lord, somehow she is satisfying her own personal ego than the divine will. This personal ego can never bear the other, particularly like Marie, who doesn’t share the same qualities or deed. It’s here the Lord intervenes to remind Martha that there is something wrong in your discernment and the way you look at the events.
Jesus is reminding each and every one us the importance of bon discernment and calls us to assume the responsibility. Jesus doesn’t promote the contemplation, ignoring the service. Both are essential part of the Lord’s mission. Jesus is confronting simply the jealousy and the choice of Martha. Martha is also invited to join Mary and if there is no ego, Martha will certainly join her sister and Mary will certainly leave the place to Martha and continue the service where Martha has left.
It’s simply the question of responding the call of the Lord. Some are called to be contemplatives and others are called to service. When they don’t meet each other in our inner discernment (contemplation to service or called to service), certainly we will be exhausted, both spiritually and materially.
«Martha, Martha, you worry and are troubled about many things, whereas only one thing is needed»
Fr. Josep RIBOT i Margarit
Today, as every day, we can learn from the Gospel. Jesus, invited to Martha's home in Bethany, gives us a lesson of humanity: He, who loved people, lets people love him, for both things are equally important. It would be a serious mistake, with harmful consequences for sanctity, to refuse God's and others' affection.
Martha or Mary? But..., why opposing those who loved each other so much and loved God too? Jesus loved Martha and Mary, and their brother Lazarus, and He loves each one of us, too.
On the path of sainthood not any two souls are exactly alike. We all try to love God, but within our own style and personality, without imitating anyone. Our models are Christ and the Mother of God. Do you resent how others treat God? Try to learn from his personal piety.
«Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do all the serving? Ask her therefore to help me» (Lk 10:40). To serve others, for the love of God, is an honor, not a burden. Do we serve with joy, as the Mother of God did with her cousin Elisabeth or at Cana's wedding, or as Jesus did when washing the Apostle's feet at the Last Supper?
«Martha, Martha, you worry and are troubled about many things, whereas only one thing is needed» (Lk 10:41-42). Let us lose neither our peace nor our good humor. And to accomplish it, let us take good care of God's presence. «Know it well: There is something holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations; and it is up to each person to discover it (…); either we learn to find our Lord in ordinary, everyday life, or else we shall never find him» (St. Josemaria).
«Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from her» (Lk 10:42). God wants us happy. That our Mother in Heaven helps us to feel the joy of giving.