But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.”
We are always concerned about taking care of company when they visit. There’s lots to do – getting things ready, food prepared, enough chairs at the table. Martha is the sister who is handling these details and she is unhappy that Mary, just sitting and listening to Jesus, isn’t offering any help. Who wouldn’t feel frazzled, doing all the work while the other sits?
Martha asks Jesus for fairness, that her sister take some responsibility for what needs to be done. This isn’t an unreasonable request, we are called to help each other. However, Jesus has another lesson in mind, that of priorities, deciding what is most important now, and as we shall learn, that involves a different view of fairness.
Jesus calls us from our busyness, the hurried and pressured world we find ourselves part of, often by our own design. As we shall learn, Jesus wants us to ask “what is the most important thing I should be doing out of the many clamoring for my attention?” Jesus wants our attention so we can be fully aware of the lessons He has for us. We need to be careful that “fair” doesn’t overshadow “essential”.
Gracious God, show us what is important to You and help us focus our efforts to be part of that work. Keep us from becoming so busy we fail to see the essential needs in our world. Amen.