Be Like Mary, Work Like Martha

We’re all familiar with the gospel where Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet, while her sister Martha does the cooking and cleaning. When Martha complains about the obvious, Jesus says, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better portion.” That gospel always bothered me! If Martha weren’t cooking and cleaning, no one would have eaten!

But if you think about it, Jesus didn’t say “Martha, Martha, stop cooking.” He said “stop being anxious about many things.” It’s okay to work hard. But Jesus is telling us “Don’t be busy. Be occupied.” If there’s a hundred things on your plate, make sure only one thing’s on your heart. There’s need of only one thing.

And what’s that one thing? Love. Receive each task as a gift from God, offer it back to him, and do it all with love and generosity, in imitation of Jesus. I know, it’s easier said than done. Lord, help me to BE like Mary when I have to WORK like Martha.

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