July 21, 2019 – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing.” (Luke 10:38-42)
We should not be so quick to judge Martha. She is to be commended for her work ethic and her attention to detail. She certainly had the best of intentions, working hard to make sure Jesus felt welcome, comfortable, and well fed. But there is more to hospitality than fluffy pillows and a well-cooked roast. Martha lost sight of the essence of hospitality – spending time with her guest.
We all have a little Martha in us. We get caught up in the process and lose sight of the goal.
We want to provide for our family, a wonderful goal. So we take that promotion and we spend 2 or 3 days a week on the road. We clock those overtime hours and agree to work on Saturday. We spend time returning e-mails and finalizing reports on Sunday. The paycheck comes and we can attest to the fact that we are providing for our family. But providing for our family is more than fluffy pillows and a well-cooked roast. We lost sight of the essence of providing for our family – spending time with them.
We want to grow stronger in our faith. So we dust off our Bible and make a point to read some passages occasionally. We add a weekday Mass to our schedule once a month and write a check to a charity. These are all commendable actions, just like Martha. But are we losing sight of the essence of growing stronger in our faith – loving God with all our heart and loving others as ourselves?
“…you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing.”