Continuing our reflections on Mary and Martha…
Let’s try to see this scene from Christ’s perspective.
- Obviously, he loved both Martha and Mary.
- They knew him well enough to invite him to dinner.
- Martha was so comfortable with him that she didn’t think twice about involving him in her family squabble.
- The atmosphere is casual, friendly – almost like a barbecue.
- Martha is doing all the work, and Mary is just sitting at Christ’s feet listening to him converse with the Apostles.
It’s understandable that Martha would get perturbed.
- Feeding 15 people is no small task, and she could have used her sister’s help.
- So she tries to get Jesus to tell Mary to lend a hand.
- But Jesus doesn’t. He actually commends Mary and reproves Martha.
Christ was glad to be served, but he was even gladder to be loved.
- He yearns for our love.
- At the last judgment, he will be less interested in our résumé of achievements (Martha probably had a great résumé) than in the love with which we achieved them.
- He was happy that Mary wanted to listen to him, wanted to sit beside him and spend time with him.
Martha, on the other hand, seems to be paying attention to Christ by serving him, but in fact she was thinking more ofherself than of him.
- This is why she was upset.
- If she had been trying to please Christ, she would have been glad to do the extra work while her sister enjoyed Christ’s conversation.
- But Martha has become so preoccupied with getting everything done just right that she has forgotten why it’s worth doing in the first place.
- So when she complains, Jesus seizes the opportunity to remind her that wanting to be in control of everything can sometimes get in the way of what matters most: loving him.