Putting First Things First
Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
My dear encountered couples:
It seems this gospel passage comes up often, doesn’t it? It is probably only a few times a year but since it is one that can easily stick in our minds, whenever we hear it we feel like we just heard it yesterday. “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
And what is it that Mary, Martha’s sister, chose to do? “She seated herself at the Lord’s feet and listened to his words,” while Martha did all the work of preparing dinner. Don’t we all wish we could be Mary! But many things call us, don’t they? Many things want our time and attention. Even now I can sense someone here is wishing I’d get on with the Mass so they won’t be late for work or for an appointment. Like Martha we are busy, busy, busy.
Jesus is not condemning our busyness. He is not ridiculing the importance of all we do. He is just trying to put first things first.
As you have taken time out to come to Mass because you realize that without Christ first in your life all else become exercises in futility, Jesus is merely trying to remind all the “Marthas” of the world their need for him. Our physical activities are necessary, but the spiritual ones put the power of God in them. We are to do both, while not forgetting which is the more important.
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”