The interpersonal relations between Martha and Mary are perpetually intriguing, not so much by what is said but by what is not said or, perhaps, by what is inferred between the lines. Notice, first off, that Luke is specific about this being Martha’s party. Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed Him. It seems so simple, on the surface, until we hear that she was burdened with much serving. Some translations use the word distracted instead of burdened but, either way, it creates some sense of contradiction with the word, welcomed. If she is hosting this party to honor Christ then she should be full of joy to see everyone enjoying His company. Instead, there is a sense of envy toward the others, with Mary as the focal point, that she is not able to enjoy His company, too. On the other hand, maybe the party was thrown to bring attention to herself and her special relationship with Jesus, the celebrity. We don’t know.
What we do know, from the words that Luke has chosen to use, is that there is a disconnect in her heart that is the cause of much internal consternation. That is what Jesus seems to point out to her when she approaches Him with her complaint. The better part that He portrays of Mary is the simplicity of heart with which she seeks the Lord, and His Peace. While Martha might be distracted with trying to impress her guests, Jesus, from her standpoint, is stealing the show.
This analysis of motivations is just one. There can be many other interpretations but this is worth considering in examining our own relationships with Christ. Humility is difficult. As soon as we think we have it… we don’t! Because of our fallen nature there is a constant battle between our EGO (Edging God Out) and Humility. Jesus cares about us but to recognize it we need to adopt the posture and attitude of Mary, focusing entirely on Christ, and enter completely into His presence to the exclusion of every other thought, feeling or motivation.