Choosing the Important Thing: Lessons from Martha and Mary

Click here for Daily Readings

The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. ~ Lk 10:41

Today, I explore the moment where Jesus is welcomed into the home of sisters Martha and Mary.

In the time of Jesus, it was the elder man of the family who typically greeted and hosted guests, while women managed the household. In this context, Mary’s behavior could be perceived as controversial. She was sitting with Jesus, much like a male host would, while Martha was diligently attending to household chores. Martha’s complaint carries a valid point: the roles were not aligning with societal norms.

Surprisingly, Jesus responds to Martha’s complaint by affirming Mary’s choice. He recognizes that Mary has selected the important thing: listening to His message. In this simple act, Jesus subtly challenges societal norms and validates equality in roles. He emphasizes that Mary’s choice to engage with His teachings is just as valid as Martha’s duties.

In our modern context, aren’t we all a bit like Martha? We can get caught up in the rituals, the formalities, and the “right” way of doing things. Whether in church, at religious events, or even in our daily lives, we often find ourselves distracted by the checkboxes we strive to fill. We fuss over minor details while missing the profound message behind these actions.

  • Martha’s complaints symbolizes my obsession with doing things right. Martha highlights how I sometimes focus on the how instead of the why.
  • Mary is my reminder that the core of our spiritual journey is the message—the teachings, the calling, and the gifts from God.

It’s fascinating how timeless are the Bible events. May this serve as a simple nudge to not let the adherence to tradition overshadow God’s message.

Reflection question:When was the last time you felt truly connected to the message behind a religious practice or tradition?

In peace,


Similar Posts