Are You a Mary or a Martha?

Okay.  I have to be honest.  Until recently, the story of sisters Martha and Mary always bothered me. This past Sunday’s Gospel story, in which Martha runs around trying to take care of business, while her sister Mary sits and listens as Jesus visits, was a difficult one for me to accept.

I just couldn’t grasp how Jesus could praise Mary, who seemed a bit lazy to me, over hardworking Martha.  It just didn’t seem fair. It wasn’t until I got older, alright, it wasn’t until really this week when I thought about the story over and over, that I understood what was going on.  What I now understand as the point of the story is that Martha was busy with all the stuff that fills our life with worry and anxiety, while Mary was concerned with only one thing – Jesus.

I have to say, even now, the story sort of slaps me in the face.  My husband and I don’t have visitors that much, but when we do I am definitely more of a Martha, worrying about if my bathroom is clean enough, and if all the dust and cat hair has been scooped up or is at least out of view. Martha is a worrier, and so am I. When I was talking with my mother about this story, she had another interpretation and a really good (and funny) point.  She said that if the sisters were prepared for the unexpected, neither one of them would have had to do all the work once Jesus got there.

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