Luke 10: 38-42

The Lord and his disciples were travelling along and came to a village. When they got there, a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.

She had a sister named Mary, who sat down in front of the Lord and was listening to what he said. Martha was worried about all that had to be done. Finally, she went to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it bother you that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to come and help me!”

The Lord answered, “Martha, Martha! You are worried and upset about so many things, but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen what is best, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Gospel Reflection

So easy for us to call this a woman’s Gospel; to treat it light-heartedly; believing that is no more than a gentle reproach at a fussing woman.

There is tradition that women are, by their nature ‘do-ers rather than be-ers’ and that this is a very good thing because the Church is not just about the Mass. As our own social events show, if you can’t get people through the door; if you can’t make them welcome. If you can’t show people what community and support is all about then why should people come?

After all, Jesus very rarely went to ‘church’ but every Gospel has him at table; has him taking care of others; Jesus has a ‘motherly’ streak of his own. Hospitality is a ministry in itself and one that, generations of women have made their own.

Last week the Good Samaritan reminded us of the need to love our neighbour. The full text is to love our neighbour as ourselves.

Immediately, we are reminded that hospitality must travel within us to that place where we may sit and enjoy God’s company too. Whether male or female, to be both Martha and Mary is a balancing point in our spirituality – they are never one without the other – and Jesus is always at the centre.