“There are souls that are continuously observing others, but know nothing of what is going on within their own selves. They talk about others continually, even during times of grand silence, reserved for speaking only with Me.” Diary, par. 1717
Martha and Mary, what a contrast! Poor Martha really gets a bad rap in this story, doesn’t she? Is there anyone who cannot identify with her concern? She is doing all the work while her sister has the pleasure of their guest all to herself. Martha is jealous, so she challenges Jesus to justify her feelings with a question that is really not a question at all. If you read between the lines, she is crying out most loudly to the Lord, “IT’S NOT FAIR!”
We’ve been there, haven’t we. We’ve experienced life’s unfairness. We have seen others enjoy life more than us with less effort but have we considered that someone might see us the same way? No! I’ve earned it. I deserve everything I have. Why should anyone be jealous of me?
For a better perspective on life’s “unfairness” we need to listen closely to St. Paul who proclaims, “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake.” Rejoice? Paul’s sufferings were no trifle matter. He was beaten, stoned and left for dead more than once. How can he rejoice. He has St. Peter’s words in his heart: As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied Grace (1Pet 4:10). The two key words are serve and stewards. What gifts we have are not ours. They are on loan to us from God and they are meant to serve others, to bring others closer to God. Paul understands that and he rejoices over his stewardship.
The better part that Mary has chosen is to have her heart in tune with her actions. We can’t read into Martha’s heart but her words seem to indicate that she didn’t rejoice at the opportunity to serve the Lord as Mary was doing by her listening. Yes, Mary’s task was easier but life bears no commitment to fairness. If we are to live our life rejoicing with the heart of Our Savior then we must do so with an attitude of gratitude in service to others.