Sunday, July 21, 2013

Choosing the Better Part

The Lord said to her in reply, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her. - Luke 10:41-42
I love this gospel reading. It is a popular one with various interpretations and I love reading them all.
Of course, we each see this differently at different times. The Holy Spirit comes to us where we are, giving us our own thoughts and ideas of what any scripture verse may be telling us.
Today I hear Jesus reassuring Martha that Mary has chosen the better part and that it's OK. Mary has not done anything wrong but neither has Martha. Just different.
Jesus tells Martha not to worry about it. To learn to let go of what bothers her. She does not need to worry about what others are doing, only what she herself is doing.
So often we compare our spiritual growth with others. We wonder if we are as "far along" as others on the journey.
"Is he closer to God than I am?"
"Is she praying the right way?"
"Are they doing enough for the church?"
I learned a long time ago that I should not compare myself to others, that I should not judge. What is important is to know that I am on the spiritual journey, that I am praying, that I am working on my own personal relationship with God. And that is where I need to focus.
Focus my heart and mind and life on Jesus.
Dear Lord, I want to be more like Mary. I want to choose the better part. I want to sit at your feet, spending time with you, listening, being still. Help me, Lord, to grow closer to you and make you Number One in my life. Help me to worry less, to be less anxious, and to sit at your feet instead. Amen.

This article was first posted 7/18/10 and has been edited


Karin said...

Thanks for your reflection on this Gospel passage, Colleen. It is one of my favorites, and one that puts a smile on my face. I always have this image of Martha's response to Jesus' "don't be so worried". I kind of hear her responding: "Fine, Lord, but do you want to eat or not." Not a theological interpretation, I know, but a very human one if nothing else.
On the more serious side, joining you in your beautiful prayer.
Hugs and blessings!

Colleen said...

Karin, thank you. I love this passage too. And I love your image of Martha's response. Right on! God bless!

Barbara Schoeneberger said...

I'm with Karin on Martha's response. A house full of guests, servants to direct, food to prepare, etc. But Jesus was concerned about Martha's anxiety. If she hadn't been anxious, she would have been participating in "the better part" regardless of the activity.

Love your prayer.

Colleen said...

Barb, thank you. I would like to be Mary, and I often am - but I am also like Martha - way too anxious.