Today the Church remembers Mary and Martha (and Lazarus in the Episcopal Church’s trial Holy Women, Holy Men calendar). Earlier today (7/29) I posted a link to a Jesuit site called Pray-as-you-go. The meditation offered for today (offered by the Jesuits) was on the Lucan text (Luke 10:38-42) describing Jesus’ visit to the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. In the meditation we are asked: “Who showed hospitality?”
It is a fair and decent question. It is a reminder that it is as valid a question as “Who chose the better part?” Asking about hospitality is a reminder that Jesus needed both Martha and Mary. Jesus needed the hospitality Martha extended and he needed Mary to listen as he told the Good News. Ever since that day in Bethany the Body of Christ (the Church) has needed faithful men and women to both listen to the Word and then do the Word/work in the world. So it is today. We need to constantly strive for a balance in our being (listening) and doing.
As a further meditation on Martha and Mary I’d like to introduce you to Shawna Atteberry (“Writer. Storyteller. Poet. Feminist Theologian. Episcopalian. Married with cat”) and her blog. She has posted her own research and meditation involving Martha and Mary: The New Testament Church: Built by homemakers like Martha.
What do you think about the “Church’s one foundation” calling upon women to build the home and care for the household? What do you find most attractive in this story of Martha and Mary and Jesus? What do you find least attractive? Leave a comment here. Read about the New Testament Church and leave a comment for Shawna. Let’s talk and listen to each other as we strive to hear the Spirit.