ESTABLISH BALANCE IN LIFE
Jesus loved to visit the home of Martha and Mary and enjoyed their gracious hospitality. In this brief encounter we see two very different temperaments in Martha and Mary. Martha loved to serve, but in her anxious manner of waiting, Jesus brought her unrest. Mary, in her simple and trusting manner, waited on Jesus by sitting attentively at His feet. It was their attentive, hospitable presence that Jesus desired most from them. How often does anxiety and preoccupation keep us from listening and from giving the Lord our attention?
Jesus Christ desires that we make a place for Him, not only in our hearts, but in our homes and in the daily circumstances of our lives as well. We honor Jesus when we offer Him everything we have and everything we do. After all, everything we have is an outright gift from our heavenly Father.
When St. Luke recorded this in his Gospel, his intention was to establish a balance in the lives of Christians; between the need for practical charity and the importance of hearing the Word of God. This Word is nourishment for our spiritual lives and more important than the food that sustains our natural lives. St. Paul tells us that after his conversion he went off to the deserts of Arabia to dedicate himself to communion with God in prayer. His mission was to be a very active one, but he realized his own need to digest and assimilate God's Word.
The point of the Gospel story is that Martha and Mary, together, form the ideal disciple of Jesus Christ. A disciple must hear the Word of God and put It into practice. Since we lead very busy lives and are tempted to give so little time directly to God in prayer, Jesus emphasized the example of Mary - an example of prayer and listening. This emphasis on prayer and listening is one which is probably needed in the lives of most of us?
May we listen deeply to the words in today's Responsorial Psalm, "Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way" (Ps 139:24b). "O Lord, You have probed me and You know me...You knit me in my mother's womb...how wonderful are Your works. My soul also You knew full well...when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth" (Ps 139:1, 13 - 15).