On the Gospel of Luke (10:38-42)
The Gospel for this 16th Sunday of ordinary time presents us with the story of the visit of Jesus to the home of the sisters Martha and Mary. Martha is a kind and caring host who, we are told, welcomes Jesus into her home. She then gets herself into a frenzy of activity preparing everything for the Lord. By contrast, Martha’s sister Mary sits at the Lords feet, savouring his presence among them and listening attentively to what he has to say. Is it any wonder that Martha complains bitterly to the Lord about the apparent inactivity of her sister? “Please tell her to help me”, Martha demand of Jesus. In response Jesus gently tells Martha not to fret over so many things. Instead be like Mary who has chosen the better part. That’s all very well we might ask. But such an attitude will not prepare the food or get the house clean and indeed there is truth in this. But perhaps it would be better to say that if we did this all the time then nothing would get done. But that is not what Jesus is saying to Martha and to us.