July 21, 2019
(Sixteenth Sunday Ordinary Time, C)
When Abraham received some surprise visitors of the LORD, after offering them a place to rest, he hastened into the tent and told Sarah, “Quick, three measures of fine flour! Knead it and make rolls.” He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer, and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it. Then Abraham got some curds and milk, as well as the steer that had been prepared, and set these before the three men; and he waited on them under the tree while they ate. Gn_18:1-10a
In a concerted effort of hospitality, Abraham, Sarah and their servant quickly and efficiently prepared a full meal for the hungry visitors. Once complete, Abraham sat down with the three and joined them as they ate, while the best was yet to come.
The interesting part of this story combined with that of Martha and Mary, was that there was no complaining about the tasks that each had to do and there was no slouching until it was all complete. Abraham very nicely played the role of Servant Leader, sharing in the work, while Sarah and the servant faithfully and obediently did what they were asked!
Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” Lk_10:38-42
In the story of Martha and Mary we have a totally different dynamic. And if you have children or are the manager of many people, you will have seen this dynamic often. There are the worker bees and there are those who will take advantage of every opportunity NOT to work. The trick is, as the middle manager, Martha in the story discovers that it is never to your advantage to complain to upper management about the plight of your own misery. Yes, Martha had a lot to do. And most likely, if she didn’t do it, it would never have gotten done.
So Martha had a couple of choices: She could have done nothing about her slouching sister’s laziness and just gotten more upset inside. She could have called her sister aside and gently or forcefully asked for her help. Or, like Mary, she could have just shirked her duties and sat by with Jesus until everyone was ready to get to work. Bottom line in Martha’s case was that she just happened to choose the wrong solution – Because, even with the Lord, complaining just doesn’t help!
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.” ibid
Peace, brothers and sisters!
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