29TH JULY, 2021
MEMORIAL OF SAINT MARTHA
Jn 11:19- 27 or Lk 10: 38-42
CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRIORITY
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Today we celebrate the Memorial of St Martha the sister of Mary and Lazarus. St. Martha is recognized as one of the most prominent women in the New Testament and the patron saint of servants and cooks. The accounts of Martha in the Bible serve as an encouragement to those who wish to draw closer to Jesus. The story of Martha and Mary is always a positive reminder of the importance of resting in God’s presence.
Although today we have two gospel passages both talking about Martha and Mary, I would like us to reflect on the gospel of Luke 10:38-42. In this story, Martha welcomes Jesus into their home and immediately goes to prepare a meal for Jesus. Hospitality was paramount in the Middle East and Martha believed in its importance. Hence, Martha works to prepare dinner, while Mary sits and listens to Jesus. Martha asks Jesus to rebuke her sister for not helping, but instead Jesus commends Mary and corrected Martha.
Many of us find it easy to be identified with Martha in this story. But as Christians, we should stop comparing ourselves with others or others with ourselves. It is always good to celebrate and appreciate the differences. Mary could have helped Martha and they both could have sat at His feet.
In verse 42, Jesus said, “One thing is necessary” There are three words that we can use to describe this story:
Martha is a homemaker. She is hospitable and hardworking, but she is not happy. She is distracted, worried, pulled in many directions, uptight and upset. As Christians, most of us try to do too much and this leads to frustration. If you try to be everything to everyone you will end up not being anything to anyone. Martha was so busy it became a burden and not a blessing and even lost the joy of serving.
Don’t get the wrong idea here; people need to work and serve one another. The issue here is that Martha got her eyes off Jesus and on herself. We have to make sure our serving does not become self-serving. What we need to ask ourselves is; who are you doing it for? You or Jesus? Dear Christians, Serve the Lord with gladness, Serve without complaining and Serve without calling attention to yourself.
There is a difference in doing something FOR Jesus and being WITH Jesus. Mary hung on every word. Sitting is an act of submission and spending time with Jesus is about knowing God and listening to Him.
Both Christian life work and worship are important, but worship should be at the heart of everything we do. When you make a meal, make the bed, do laundry, cut the grass, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God. Our work should therefore be an outflow of our worship. Our labor should be an overflow of our love.
Lazarus, Martha, and Mary became close friends of Jesus. He felt at home in their house. He wanted to be with them. Does Jesus feel at home in your house?
Jesus tells Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.” Dear brothers and sisters, there will always be so many things pulling us away from Christ but one thing is necessary; every day make the right choice.
Daily sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from Him, Listen to His word. Ask Him what He wants you to do, Submit by saying, “not my will but your will be done.”
Dear people of God, We are such busy people and we live in such a busy world. It's easy to miss the important things. The story of Martha and Mary tells us that there is value in sitting, in listening, in learning and in loving. Like Martha, we think the important thing is doing, but Jesus teaches us to sit, to listen, to learn and to love.
Whether at home or work or school, take a moment to look around and find the blessings. Take a moment to thank God for giving you another day. Sit at God's feet for just a moment. Be quiet, Listen and Treasure the moment. We live in a Martha world, but take time to be Mary for just a bit. Give it a trial and you'll find a blessing.
Since St. Martha is the patron of cooks, today would be a good day to honour and thank that person who used to prepare or prepares good meals for you. Thank him or her for the meals she has prepared. Surprise him or her by cooking a special meal or take him or her out for dinner.
May St Martha intercede for us all.