Why is it so hard to get that Mary spirit in a Martha world?
Today is the feast of St. Martha. I've always liked Martha, she was a take charge kind of gal. I always think of Martha when I hear those women who wail and moan about the treatment of women in the Bible and how they were depicted. She spoke her mind and was not afraid to confront the Lord Himself when Jesus was delayed in coming to see her brother Lazarus before he died. ..."if you had been here." Very accusatory of her, don't you think? I can relate, I react like that when I feel helpless and don't know what to do. You know the feeling, someone needs to share the blame or someone surely can make this better. Human beings do not like feeling helpless, it is a loss of control thing that gets us freaked out.
We also remember Martha was the one who wanted Jesus to fuss at Mary for not helping her in the kitchen while she was trying to serve Him, the honored guest in the house. Oh, how I can relate to that, I am ashamed to say. Call it a gift, or maybe a curse, but I can assess a situation and see what needs to be done and then I do it. Then I get all bent out of shape when no one helps me. This usually involves the kitchen dishes or the laundry. Like Martha, I get resentful and then I pout about it. I do eventually come to my senses and realize this is my problem and I need to deal with it.
I tried to read that book, you know the one about having a Mary spirit in a Martha world. It was right on target and gave some valuable information, but reading and agreeing then putting into practice are two different things. Easier said than done. I do find that prayer helps, and offering the tasks up truly helps, but when the family is sitting and eating and messing and mom is cleaning and picking up and washing and straightening, well, you get the point. I have come to realize that Jesus' message to Martha was a humbling one. I should choose the better part as well. It is my choice and I suppose my pride that makes me want the house to be neat. Of course I have to listen to it when the clothes are not clean or something is amiss, but that is a mom thing I suppose.
I think what Jesus wants from me is to pray about everything I do and then do it for the love of my family and for the love of Him. It was a message that He wanted Martha to take to heart and one for me as well. I hope that as I think of Martha today I will be mindful of the task I do around the house and to adopt that Mary attitude, to keep my eyes focused on the Lord.
As a catechist and DRE I am always answering questions about our faith. I love that people are curious like me and want to learn more about the faith as Catholics, to learn more about God and Jesus. I hope this blog does just that, to help us learn more.