She hates dirt,
she likes everything perfectly done.
She cleans, washes clothes and floors, prepares food.
She works hard to have her house spick and span.
Her name is Martha.
Her sister, sitting comfortably at the Master’s feet,
does not seem to care about her sister
who is working hard to prepare everything.
She just listens to the Master
Her name is Mary.
Finally Martha can’t bear it anymore.
She goes up to Jesus and says:
“Come on Jesus! Tell her something!
Tell her to come and help me,
then she can listen to you as much as she wants…”
One would expect all sorts of replies from Jesus…
except the one we get!
“You fret about a hundred and one things,
but only one thing is necessary…
And Mary found it!”
What does all this mean?
Is it just a proposal to put prayer over work?
Jesus as usual goes deeper
And touches the deep issue
of why we do things!
Many women spend their lives cleaning and scrubbing…
making life impossible for everyone.
Because they care about cleanliness
Or because they want to get the attention of their husband and kids
because in this way they can acquire some measure of love from them?
Many men work very hard
and spend hours in offices or factories
to gain a measure of love through money
because nowadays, everyone knows
that money generates esteem and respect:
You can be ignorant, but if you possess money, everyone will acknowledge you!
How true this is!
We use work to get love.
We sacrifice ourselves to fill our empty heart.
We are ready to do anything
to attract attention, respect, and affection from others.
And we suffer deeply
because we feel we never get a good deal.
We never feel loved as much as we deserve for all the work we put into it!
In the process we also lose our freedom.
We become slaves of others and for others
obliged to work to get the love we need.
This is Martha.
This is why Jesus Christ says that only one thing is necessary
if we want to live freely.
Sorry… not ‘one thing’
but one individual is necessary.
Someone whose name is Jesus Christ.
When He enters into the heart,
He fills it with His love.
we will feel loved deeply ad truly,
and satiated, full.
So full that we won’t need to beg for love.
So full that we won’t need to fret about cleaning.
So full that we won’t need to use work in order to attract others’ attention.
But we will be able to give away love.
We will be able to work for the good of others.
We will be able to live a free life.
when you have Him, you have everything.
And when you have everything, you won’t lack anything!
when you have Him, you have a guarantee against all worries and emptiness.
You can the live on the mountains
as the prophet says.
“In the desert he finds him,
in the howling expanses of the wastelands.
He protects him, rears him,
guards him as the pupil of his eye.
Like an eagle watching its nest,
hovering over its young,
he spreads out his wings to hold him,
he supports him on his pinions.
Yahweh alone is his guide;
no alien god for him!
He gives him the heights of the land…”
(Deuteronomy 32, 10-12)
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.