We are all familiar with the story of Martha and Mary with Martha concerned/anxious about looking after/serving Jesus and his disciples, while her sister Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to him and hanging on to every word he spoke. Yes, we all appreciate those special prayer times when we feel close to Jesus and are content and want to stay there like Matthew , James and John at the transfiguration on Mt Tabor.(Matt 17:4) “Lord it is good for us to be here”.
I believe we we must be both a Martha and a Mary i.e.people of prayer and action.
In this story however, Jesus appears to want us to concentrate on Mary “it is Mary who has chosen the better part” Does this mean being more consciously present to Jesus in our day to day lives? We can get caught up in our concerns and preoccupations rather than listening to Jesus when he speaks to us through others, nature, scripture ,life’s joys and sorrows etc. Being mindful of Gods presence all around us rather than being busy, busy busy.
On a human level we feel blessed when in our relationships we feel we are being listened to , and our needs are understood by others and they have our undivided attention. When people are truly present to us, we feel respected and cared about. Mary was truly present to Jesus and not preoccupied with other thoughts and concerns.
Today in our morning prayer time let us try to be more Jesus focussed rather than thinking about the concerns of our day. Also in our personal encounters today let’s be more focussed on the other, rather than focussing on what’s going on in the movie theatre of our minds.
Elizabeth Buchel has worked as an educator and psychologist for many years. She is formed in Passionist and Benedictine Spirituality. Elizabeth is a Passionist Companion and has been a active parishioner of St Brigids Marrickville since 1985.