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Monday, March 7, 2016
Today’s Reading | Luke 10:38–42
Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” (NRSV)
In today’s scripture text, Jesus is traveling with some of his disciples and comes to a village. Presumably out of kindness and generosity, a woman named Martha and her sister Mary welcome Jesus into their home. Hospitality was just as important then as it is now. And also then as now, the women typically provided it. So Martha immediately engages in the duty of making her guests comfortable. There are meals to be prepared and beds made up. But dear sister Mary is more interested in what her honored guest is saying in the living room. She sits at Jesus’ feet and absorbs his every word. When Martha discovers that she is doing all the work by herself, she goes ballistic. Rather than quietly asking Mary for a little help, Martha commits a breach of hospitality by admonishing Jesus himself for not telling Mary to help. Oops! Not surprisingly, Jesus calms Martha, gently corrects her, and defends Mary for having her priorities straight.
I must confess that, like Martha, on occasion I have been guilty of being caught up in what I was doing, not using good judgment, and saying something that I later regretted. More importantly, I have also been guilty of failing to follow Mary’s example of doing the right thing at the appropriate time.
Gracious and forgiving God, in order that I may better serve you, please guide me to focus on what is important and to do the right thing. Amen.
Written by Andy Costello, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church
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