The widely known bible story about the two sisters, Martha and Mary is a great classic story about family relationships, our relationships with members of our fellow parishioners, and people in our local communities. Are you more of a Martha? Or, are you more like Mary? My own answer with regards to my lifelong journey in search of Christ, greater faith and knowledge, and even the ways I choose to live out the Gospel in my daily life is that all of us are called to live out the Gospel message by sometimes being more like Martha and other times being more like Mary.
This need to make time to ask and learn about our faith, our own faith journey and life itself require times when we just stop! We go off and in silence, prayer and faith, we pray. Prayer is the language of the human heart. Love is the greatest gift and human capacity each person has.
There is a time for everything: A time to be still and in that stillness, ask our dear Lord to speak to your open heart, an open mind and an open spirit. In stillness and silence, pray NOT by saying words, but rather by listening. Listen with your prayerful heart and in silence and quietude know our dear Lord speaks to you. Listen! Listen in prayer! After you are able to pray, we as Christians, modern disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ also know we are to live out our daily faith by putting our faith into action. This is what Mary exemplifies. Mary is also right.
Martha’s example is sustained in the following words found in James 2:15-17, “If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also, faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” You and I are blessed in so many ways. Our dear Lord has smiled upon us and blessed us in countless ways. Martha is a great example of the Christian whose heart is in the right place and who lives out the faith by running here and there serving Christ by serving others in very concrete ways. However, staying busy by itself is not the whole answer.
Mary is also correct in that the modern disciple of Christ, who is constantly serving Christ by serving others, also needs to make time to go off and do nothing. It is time to be still and in silence simply remain still, find rest and listen. This is time to imitate Mary by resting in the company of Christ, and open one’s heart, mind and spirit to Christ. Wonder and you find wisdom. Pray and you will see God.
-Father Michael Briese