Jesus rebukes Martha’s distraction and praises Mary’s devotion to Him. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Piety from the Holy Spirit so he can reject idolatry of any kind and love God above all things and by building the Virtue of Prudence so he can rightly balance his duty to God, his family and his work. 

Liturgy

16th Week in Ordinary time – Sunday – Cycle C – Lk 10:38-42; 27th Week in Ordinary time – Tuesday – Lk 10:38-42

Commentary

After rebuking rigid interpretations of holiness and calling men to heroic virtue that seeks to generously serve those in need in the parable of The Good Samaritan, Jesus now confirms that the call to sainthood includes women and reiterates the need to make the pursuit of God one’s absolute priority. 

Entering the home of Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary, in Bethany, Jesus begins to teach. Martha, doing her best in her role as homemaker to prepare and serve food to Jesus, and likely many other guests, is overwhelmed by her work. Mary, enthralled by Jesus, sits at His feet, in adoration, learning. Martha, frustrated and failing, asks Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?” This is insulting for several reasons: it is delivered with a scolding tone; it assumes Jesus is not aware; it assumes that Jesus does not care; it seeks to manipulate the Lord into doing Martha’s bidding.

Surprisingly patient despite Martha’s disrespectful question, Jesus gently rebukes Martha for being anxious and troubled, and for missing the importance of making God her highest priority; He does not assert that Martha’s work is not important, but that work must be subservient to faith. Rather than rebuke Mary, as Martha wished, Jesus upholds Mary’s beautiful choice to adore and learn from Him as the one thing she truly needs, a blessing that won’t be denied to her. Overturning Jewish customs that limited interactions between men and women, and that only permitted men to be religious disciples, Jesus deliberately interacts with women and calls them to be His disciples. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Reflect upon how Jesus, the Son of Joseph, upholds the dignity of women: Son of Joseph, Jesus learned by Joseph’s dignified love for the Virgin Mary, how to uphold the dignity of women (CCC 2334); perfection of Meekness, rather than rebuke Martha for her disobedient and rude question, Jesus Gently Admonishes her (a Spiritual Work of Mercy); Divine Priest, Jesus directs Martha to the right practice of Religion (a part of Justice), using Mary’s adoration of Christ as an example. 

Reject idolatry and love God above all things

Realize: Just as Martha was distracted by her work and failed to draw close to Jesus, modern men can become distracted by their careers, often obsessing about advancement and pay, toiling to build a big nest egg for the future, while ignoring their spiritual life; every Catholic man is called to reject becoming a slave to the idolatry of money and make drawing closer to God and seeking holiness their top priority. 

Believe: Review The 1st Commandment’s prohibition of the Idolatry of Mammon (CCC 2110, 2113).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Piety so I am moved by You to always seek to draw close to God, I can quickly recognize if I am falling into idolatry in any form, and I pray always and receive the Sacraments often. 

Prudently balance your duty to God, family and work

Realize: To avoid becoming a slave to his work, every Catholic man needs to understand how work fits into their lives and continually make prudent and heroic choices to maintain the proper balance of God, family, and work. 

Believe: Reflect upon Man’s Work (CCC 307, 378, 901, 2427-2428).

Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Prudence, help me build the Virtue of Prudence so I thoughtfully discern the many demands upon my time, I make holy choices which sacrifice my own desires to best glorify You and serve my family, and I fulfill my duty to adequately provide for my family.