A Case for the Marthas of the World

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Today’s Gospel provides an important opportunity to reflect on the ways in which most of us lay folks have to deal with the battle between the active life and the contemplative.  Inspired by today’s reading, my wife wrote this great reflection and I thought it would make a great post!  Please read, enjoy, and share!

A case for the Martha’s of the world:  You are not alone.

In prayer this morning, the Lord kept reminding me of one line in today’s Gospel over and over again.  A line I usually overlook – and a line that also reminded me that most of the time people read this Gospel and assume we are to all be Marys.  Well, I will be the first to admit – I AM A MARTHA!  MARTHA! MARTHA! MARTHA!  But, that isn’t the worst thing in the world.  We Marthas just need some encouragement and a moment of renewal for ourselves.
The line that kept repeating for me was:

“Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?”

And it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I mean, I already knew I was a Martha.  I have never denied being a Martha.  But all the feels came to me at the moment I read this line.  I know exactly how Martha felt!

She felt…. Alone.

giphy-facebook_sShe wanted to do the right thing.  Dude, Jesus was AT HER HOUSE.  She wanted things to be nice for him.  That is a good thing.  She was not coming from a bad place.  She wanted to serve.  The only problem is, she felt Alone and Overwhelmed by the task and Abandoned by her companion.

I can relate so much to these feelings of Martha.  And I am betting a lot of Mommas out there can too.   A heart to serve, a love language to do for others, Martha just wanted to show her love for Christ by serving.  And she had a big task to face.  (You know there is a but, right?)

BUT – even though Martha was coming from a good place in wanting to serve – we are called to serve with a heart like Jesus – she wasn’t taking care of her own heart first.  She was running on empty.  She wasn’t choosing to fill her own heart by spending time with Jesus First and then letting the service flow from that love and renewal. 

Ever felt the way Martha did?  Everyday?  No?  Just me?  I am sure there are many other Marthas in this world.   I see so many times, like in the book titled, “Being a Mary in a Martha world” that often times, we Marthas think we have to change to be like Mary.  Embrace your inner Martha, man.

Serve. Be. Do.  But don’t let the anxiety and worry creep in when you are serving and running on an empty heart.  Don’t be Mary, just join her for a moment at the foot of our beautiful Lord….and then go out and be your beautiful little Martha self.  Do it all and speak your love language – but only after you have had your own heart spoken to and full of Love itself.   Christ reminds Martha of this very thing in the Gospel – He tells her to remember that there “is need of only one thing”, HIM.  Only then can we serve out of love, with the kind of love that perfects God’s love inside of us.  Not one that seeks perfection, glory or recognition.   Not service that feels helpless and empty and abandoned, but full of the love of Christ.

God Love You!

Posted by Luke Arredondo

Luke Arredondo earned his B.A. in philosophy from St. Joseph Seminary and an M.A. in Theology at Notre Dame Seminary. He is currently a PhD student in the Religion, Ethics, and Philosophy track at Florida State University, where he studies Catholic sexual ethics and Catholic moral theology with Dr. Aline Kalbian. He also writes at his own blog, at Ignitum Today, and Aleteia. His most important work, though, is as a husband to his wife Elena and a father to his three daughters.

Website: http://www.lukearredondo.com