REFLECT – Day 5:
This Lent we are delving into “The Beatitudes” and congratulations are in order. We have made it to end of our first exploration. We’ve been looking at what it means to be ‘poor in spirit’ and I hope that some of the bible passages, questions, prayers and actions have helped you embody Jesus message.
I invite you to finish this first week by reading Luke 10:38-42. If you are able, try reading it aloud to stimulate your aural senses, it may help you take more of the passage in using several senses.
Anxiety and fear accumulate in people, in families and communities. We can be anxious about our appearance, about what others think, about whether life is fair, about our past or our future. Anxiety can steal joy, calm and fulfilment.
In today’s passage we read about Martha doing a wonderful thing. We should think well of her for opening up her home and inviting Jesus, alongside his entourage, inside. However, she is entertaining one of her closest friends and seems to lose sight of what’s truly important. She is worried, distracted by many things and is consumed by preparation and resentment towards her sister. Some might say this is an image of many people’s lives, and too often, of the Church. Do you see this busy pattern modelled by Martha in your own life or in our church?
Mary, on the other hand, is poor in spirit. She sits at Jesus’ feet and listens to what he is saying. She has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.
We cannot escape our past, our worries or many of our responsibilities. Many rely on us and there is much to be said for good preparation and fulfilling our commitments. However, sometimes it’s important to create space to simply sit at Jesus feet. This is especially important when we find ourselves getting consumed by anxiety.
Martha was ‘worried and upset about many things’ but Jesus affirmation of Mary’s decision to sit and listen, to focus on the one thing, is a smack in the face to us in a busy, power hungry world which celebrates exhaustion as a sign of success and perfection as the only acceptable outcome.
If you find yourself relating to Martha, help is at hand. As we have have suggested all week, when we admit our need of God in poverty of Spirit we will find the kingdom of heaven. So rest. Sit. Listen. Focus on the one thing that truly matters.
Don’t rush off. Stay in that place just a little bit longer.
Imagine yourself sitting at the feet of Jesus and spend some time listen to what He is saying.
How will you live out Mary’s priorities and attitude in your daily life? What is already in place that can be adapted? what could change? what needs throwing out?