Are we like Mary or Martha?

by Shiu Lan
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gensis 18:1 - 10A

Colossians 1:24-28

Luke 10:38-42

This Sunday's Gospel Reading about the familiar story of Mary and Martha reminds me of a very inspiring homily I heard recently about service. In life, we serve, we serve our family, our next door neighbor, our parishioners, our co-workers and we serve the least of our brothers and sisters. We serve God and we serve one another. As a Catholic, we must serve with a heart of faith, we must help others encounter Christ, the priest said.

While Martha was busy and pre-occupied with the tasks of welcoming Jesus into her home, her sister Mary sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. When Martha asked Jesus to tell Mary to help her with her tasks, Jesus said that Mary had chosen the better part which was to listen to His teaching.

Reflecting upon ourselves, are we like Martha who was distracted with welcoming Jesus into her home, or are we like Mary who was focused on listening to Jesus' teaching? More often than not, we see more Martha in ourselves than Mary. Whatever we do, we tend to focus on the outcome, an outcome that meets worldly expectations, or better, an outcome that exceeds worldly expectations. Always, we are busy and overwhelmed and we multi-task and juggle to complete the tasks in our daily schedule. We are so mindful of our own expectations and expectations that others have on us that we may sometimes forget that we are Catholics, we are disciples of Jesus. Whatever we do in our family, in work and in Church, we must do it not for our own personal satisfaction but for Jesus. Jesus is the reason for our service.