Our gospel reading today is short and sweet and a story to which we find it easy to relate. Sometimes we ask: are we/you a Mary or a Martha? As if there is a choice.
Mary sat at the feet of Jesus as a disciple would do. She was undertaking a role usually reserved for men. She was keen to be a disciple of Jesus. True, she left Martha with all the work.
Martha, grumpy with all the work left to her, approaches Jesus for help to persuade Mary to get up and help. What sort of hospitality is Martha offering? Where is the gracious host? Can you imagine arriving at a house of friends for a meal and the comments before the food is served include, “I’ve had a busy
day, been rushed off my feet, but now that you are here we may as well sit down for a quick bite to eat.” How welcome would you feel?
Martha is both distracted from the message of Jesus and from her role as a host.
James offers a word of support for Jesus in his letter: “… be doers of the word, and not merely hearers …” Ja 1.22
We have the opportunity to be doers of the word with our gifts to BayCISS.
We do know that Jesus invites all of us who are worried and distracted by many things to sit and rest in his presence, to hear his words of grace and truth, to know that we are loved and valued as children of God, to be renewed in faith and strengthened for service. There is need of only one thing: attention to our guest. As it turns out, our guest is also our host, with abundant gifts to give.
Will you, men and women of All Souls, be both Martha and Mary?