Always Martha

First Reading: Jonah 3:1-10

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:
“Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD’s bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing,
“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small,
put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh,
he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe,
covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.
Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh,
by decree of the king and his nobles:
“Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep,
shall taste anything;
they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water.
Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth
and call loudly to God;
every man shall turn from his evil way
and from the violence he has in hand.
Who knows, God may relent and forgive,
and withhold his blazing wrath,
so that we shall not perish.”
When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 130:1B-2, 3-4AB, 7-8

R. (3) If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.

R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.

R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

Let Israel wait for the LORD,
For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities.

R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

Gospel: Luke 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”


oct 6

I am never eager to hear this Gospel message. I think it is because I find so much of myself in Martha. Now, she is a saint, and I am not . . . so not that comparison, but the one in which I see myself in the busy realm of day-to-day life. I can just imagine myself getting ready for a meeting with my Savior. While deep down I would know it was time to adequately prepare my heart for His arrival, I have a feeling I would be preparing my home instead.

I would want to prepare a delicious meal, clean every square inch of my home, make sure my children were on their best behavior, and tend to His every need. I would essentially want everything to be immaculately presentable. And, while I’m being honest, I would want my sister’s help with it all. For me, the busy-ness would be a reflection of the importance of the occasion, and her simply sitting at His feet would infuriate me.

Can you tell I’ve got a long way to go spiritually?

“[Y]ou are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing.”

Only. One. Thing. And, that is Him. So, why? Why do I hear this passage multiple times a year and still struggle with my ability to let go of all the “things” and simply be in His presence? Why can I never seem to just be still and be His? Why am I a modern-day Martha?

Because I care. In a different way than Mary cared, yes, but I still care. I want to be the very best I can possibly be . . . in my vocation, my daily life, and in the presence of my God. Yet, sometimes I care about the wrong things.

Do you, too? It isn’t wrong to care—in fact, it is a blessing in so many ways. But, today, as a start, what if we care more about the inside . . . about the state of our soul . . . the only thing that our Lord truly cares about.

Let’s take one from Mary’s book and simply be with Him . . . in the midst of the craziness, the messy home, the misbehaved children, and the leftover meal.

Let go of the worry, and embrace the peace that comes when our focus is on the need of “only one thing.” Him.

[Tweet “Let’s take one from Mary’s book and simply be with Him.”]

Put it all away today, if only for five minutes, and seek Him fully.

Britt Fisk is the wife of Jeremy and mother of four young kids.  She spends her days living simply in the-middle-of-nowhere-New Mexico helping with the family beef cattle operation. You can find out more about her here.

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