Don’t you feel sorry for Martha? I wish we knew what she did after Jesus advised her that she was “anxious and worried about many things.” Wouldn’t it be great to know that she turned off the burners on the stove and sat right down?
That, of course, begs the question, “Well, if Mary and the other disciples have chosen the better part, and if Martha should abandon dinner and sit and learn from the Teacher too, who IS going to make dinner?”
I’ve sort of harrumphed at this story, noting how hungry everyone would be in a few hours if no one was fixing dinner. But Jesus fixes his gaze on me and says, “Stop. Pay attention to what really happened here. Martha was fussing and fuming because Mary wasn’t doing what a woman is supposed to do. She was too devoted to me, too in love with the kingdom of God. She was sitting at my feet because that’s exactly where I desired her and Martha to be. Remember the scriptures. If you seek me you’ll find me if you seek me with all of your heart I will be found by you (Dt. 4:29).
But that’s not all that Jesus wants us to learn. St. Luke loves stories about women and about meals. During these long weeks of Ordinary Time we’ll hear many stories about both, since we’re reading Luke all year. Don’t miss this one. It’s about the discipleship of equals, of course. Mary and Martha have as much right to the Kingdom as do the male disciples. But looking deeper we can glimpse Luke’s greatest theme of all: Jesus is the MEAL. Take and eat.
How is the Eucharist drawing you closer to the most important things in your life?
Kathy McGovern ©2019