Martha, Martha, when will you find peace?

To Do List

Luke 10:41-42 NRSV “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

It should be obvious we’re meant to emulate the attentive, peaceful, and adoring Mary, more so than her harried and jealous sister Martha. Who wouldn’t rather sit with the Messiah, instead of doing the dishes and paying the bills?

Unfortunately, the dishes still need to be washed. The bills need to be paid. And, a thousand other demands clamor for our attention. Before long, we’re rushing around with Martha, scorning anyone not rushing with us.

We assume that in order for things to work out as they should – according to our plan – we have to give each task its due amount of worry and stress. But, that was not Mary’s choice, and Christ is telling us it shouldn’t be ours either.

Yes, the chores and work must be done. And it’s likely Mary did her fair share of work before Christ walked into her home that day. But, she understood at that moment, when Christ was talking, wasn’t the moment to think about anything else. It was time to be at peace, and to listen with her whole heart. Mary chose to be totally present in that moment with Christ, and with her spiritual self.

There will be a thousand points of would-be stress in our lives today. Christ tells us we have need of only one thing: to surrender all worry, to rest in quiet presence, listening with open hearts for the will of God.

All of the other details – the what-ifs, the worries, stress – are but noise that blocks out the voice of Christ within us. When we achieve silence, when we sit with peaceful adoration at Christ’s feet, the answers to all these other “problems” fall into place. All becomes as it should, because when we are in sync with the Spirit, it can be no other way. The answers to our questions, the direction of all our moral, mental and physical energy – all will be provided in the peace at Christ’s feet.

Lord, give us the peace of faith in you today. Grant us the strength to quiet all of the worries and distractions, to let go of yesterday and tomorrow, and to be totally present in each step of today’s journey with you. Amen.

Mary-Martha-Lazarus

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