Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
In her poem “Making Peace,” Denise Levertov writes about the grammar and the syntax of peace. We might have to change the sentence of our lives to “have a feeling towards” peace. Further, she suggests that peace might appear if “we allowed long pauses.”
To allow a long pause in our day this is what this time of prayer is for. To allow the “sentence” of our day, all of our activity, our thoughts, our preoccupations to have a pause. A moment of silence before we continue with more subjects, activities, and objects to attend to.
This is the great invitation that Jesus makes to us today in this story of Mary and Martha. We can have a feeling towards peace, and the sentence of our day can be completed with his help. May his grace and peace fill this pause of ours.
—Christopher Staab, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic of the Chicago-Detroit province. He is currently in his second year of theology studies at the Jesuit house of studies in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Chris previously taught at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Chicago IL.
Life-giving God, help me enjoy the peace and refreshment Jesus found in the home of Mary and Martha of Bethany. May I find space today to let your Word, your life, your light flood my spirit. Open my heart to hear you, strengthen my hands to serve you…all in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.