Thought For Today called 'Martha and Mary'
Jesus visits the home of Martha. For such a short Gospel passage, this text has created much discussion among biblical scholars. It seems everyone is this story is breaking the rules: Jesus rebukes his host, Mary does not help her sister, and Martha is not sitting at Jesus' feet like a good disciple.
Luke's gospel is all about 'reversal': what you expect to happen does not happen, often the opposite happens! Confused? Mary is positioned here as a disciple learning from her Teacher. Martha as one who is trying to serve through 'many tasks.' Throughout his Gospel, Luke places a special emphasis on the wider circle of Jesus' disciples, and names the women who follow Him. Luke is perhaps reminding us in this text that being a follower of Jesus requires an upset of the norms and a reversal of roles.
This story occurs in Luke immediately after the Good Samaritan, where the importance of service and action are clearly emphasised. It seems unfair that Martha is being told off for serving those who come to her. If Jesus arrived with a hungry entourage, what host would not be stressed out! Jesus frees Martha from these duties, not because they are not important, but so that she too can be nourished by him. Frantic activity is never good or sustainable for us.
Let today's Gospel be a reminder that when we are bogged down in the craziness around us, we can sit and listen to Him. Then we may be better prepared for the challenges that we face, whether they be in our homes or our wider communities.