Jul 14, 2022
The story of Martha and Mary—which we’ll hear in tomorrow’s lectionary readings—is one that resonates with anyone who has ever needed to care for a family. Whether a family cares for young children or aging parents, or a combination of both, nothing is ever finished. There are daily tasks just to keep the house clean and food on the table, plus the weekly or monthly duties. No wonder so many of us simply collapse into a chair at night quietly watching mind-numbing TV precisely because it is mind-numbing.
Martha, who asks Jesus to rebuke her sister, instead receives a rebuke, something that none of us who have ever run a house appreciates. He rebukes her because Mary is doing the one thing that Martha and all of us need to remember to do: care for ourselves, our souls. It takes the same amount of effort to clean 2 days’ worth of dust as to clean one, but the opportunity to sit at Jesus’ feet will not return, or to have lunch with a friend, to pray, to listen to good music or to simply be quiet and read in the garden. The message of this passage is not that cleaning is bad, but that self-care is necessary. Today and every day, take the time to read that good book, to watch a good documentary, to pray, to absorb the beauty of nature. We are all so busy, busy , busy. Take the time to be quiet, to become refreshed and renewed, to be quiet enough to hear God’s voice in your ear; then, you truly will have the best part.