Martha and Maria
October 9, 2018
Tuesday, 27th Week in
1st Reading: Gal 1:13–24
Gospel: Luke 10:38-42
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.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Jesus visited Martha and Mary in their house. Both ladies were serving Jesus in this wise: Mary listened to him, while Martha prepared food for him. Both roles were important and Jesus was pleased with both of them until Martha complained.
When Martha began to compare herself with Mary, she became bitter and ended up in self-pity.
Martha’s hands were busy preparing food for Jesus but her heart was too preoccupied with the self.
Attitudes like this do not win God’s sympathy. Thus, instead of consoling her, Jesus affirmed and confirmed her self-pity and even highlighted her pathetic condition by declaring that Mary had chosen the better part. God has no sympathy for the envious. How heart-rending on the part of Martha to hear such declaration!
Had Martha continued to work joyfully in the kitchen, Jesus would have commended her for silently doing her part as the cook, even as Mary was doing hers by entertaining Jesus at the receiving room. But Martha was envious of the attention her sister was getting from their special guest. Wanting to grab that attention for herself she tried to discredit her sister as lazy and opportunistic.
Let us learn from Martha’s story. Many are unhappy in the workplace because they keep comparing themselves with others. They rise not on their own merits but upon the destruction of others. Rising on our own merits benefits everyone because nobody is destroyed in the process. This is the kind of arrangement that attracts God’s blessings. When it is embedded into one’s character it becomes a winning attitude.
This attitude has deep theological implications when carried out with a sense of belongingness to the Church. Today’s Gospel story, in fact, has Eucharistic undertones. Mary’s listening to the Word is symbolic of the Liturgy of the Word. Martha’s preparation of food is symbolic of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Both were working in one grand Eucharistic celebration with Jesus present in their midst. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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