Sunday Sharing 7.21.19
This Sunday’s Gospel of Jesus interacting with Mary and Martha is not only one of the best known gospel stories of the Bible but it’s also one of few that almost everyone has an opinion, at least when they first hear it.
We all sympathize with Martha. Here comes a guest, Jesus their good friend, expected or unexpected St. Luke doesn’t say. Naturally Martha wants to lay out the best for Him. Water to wash His feet or to cool Himself, a good meal, something to drink. How about those apostles of His! I’m sure they wouldn’t turn down a good meal! Mary? Mary sits at Jesus’ feet listening to Him.
At this point in Luke’s gospel Jesus is going to Jerusalem to face His passion. Some Bible scholars muse that Mary looked at Jesus and saw that what He really needed was not so much an elaborate meal but someone with whom He could talk to and who would listen to Him.
Many times in our life we assume we know what others want or need when in point of fact we miss the mark. Don’t get me wrong we all need to have a little Martha in us to get along in life (ie pay the bills, plan for the future, care for our children, schedule our lives etc). In observing and interacting with the St Ben’s parish family I know how we wish we could spend more time in our faith development. It reminds me of Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof when he sings, in If I were a Rich Man, of how he would spend his time discussing the Holy Books with the learned men.
Practical as we are we balance our lives. So what can we glean from Martha and Mary? I believe it’s safe to say we recognize the value of both of these women in our lives. We value Martha for getting things done for others and providing for others welfare. We value Mary for understanding the situation at hand and realizing how being present to someone else is at times more important than a meal. Both of these women are fine examples of service and both are outstanding examples of discipleship! Unfortunately the busyness of life gets in the way of our faith life. We’d like to (fill in the blank ... join the Knights of Columbus, participate in ALPHA, join the Scripture Study) but I have to work or I need to relax, or I don’t have the time etc. Every now and then we must take the time to reflect on what’s important for others and for ourselves.
This weekend we celebrate BenFest. I’m sure you can imagine how much work and planning goes into this as well as the amount of work necessary to carry it out.*
The “Martha” aspect of BenFest is the raising of money, providing fun for our community and the building of community. The “Mary” aspect is making or renewing acquaintances by catching up with, “What’s new with you?” Many times in working BenFest I’ve seen a side of folks that I don’t ordinarily see and I’m sure the same can be said by you of me. In the spirit of being more Mary- like our parish is having a table at the BenFest highlighting some of the many ministries and outreach programs that are available. While this may seem more Martha-like in essence it’s a way of being more present to the Lord by being of service to Him through others. So please stop by and learn a bit more of what we offer. Finally let me recommend a fine book, appropriately titled: Having a Mary heart in a Martha World – Finding Intimacy with God in the busyness of Life by Joanna Weaver.
What more can I say – roll up your sleeves and get to work! That is the beauty of this Gospel! *no offense to all the hard workers of all our activities we present