On this Memorial of St. Martha- Patron of Homemakers and Single Laywomen, July 29th, May we Learn from her the one thing that is most important.
Following is an article by a very special friend of our mission. She has been a great inspiration and witness to us of a wife and mother who also seeks to choose “the better part.” Thank you Jayne, for your passionate love for God and your desire to do His Will in all things.
by Jayne Harrison
walter#2, 1/3/70, 12:35 PM, 8C, 7704×10771 (838+606), 150%, paintings, 1/10 s, R72.3, G61.8, B75.5
“Martha, Martha….” It’s all about the LOVE!
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” (Luke 10:38-42).
As I reflect on my life today, I would like to share some of my journey towards the ‘one thing’ — intimacy with Jesus.
Mary chose the better part. Sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to Him. She knew she was created to be a PASSIONATE LOVER. She was created for relationship. To be in relationship with another requires spending time listening to each other.
Martha was so busy being the SERVANT that she took her eyes off of Jesus and became frustrated because her sister would not help her. But Jesus said Mary chose the better part. We can become so caught up in the serving that we forget about Who it is we are serving.
For many years I have consecrated and re-consecrated myself to Our Blessed Mother. She has gently taken me by the hand and taught me how to have balance in my life. Reality is, even if I have a desire to sit at the feet of Jesus, there is still much serving to be done. As a mother of 8 children, I know this all too well. I used to say, “I will sleep when I get to heaven.”
When my children were younger
, there were times when my mother would offer to watch them for me
so I could rest. When I would have the house to myself I would think, “Rest, nice thought but there is so much to be done.” Laundry, dishes, floors, etc. I had gone through much of my life with a checklist mentality. If I can just get my list checked off I will be happier. I wasn’t always putting the ‘one thing’ first.
The list never goes away it just changes daily but I have to remember to put my relationship with Jesus on the top.
I had the same mentality in my spiritual life as well. If I can read my bible everyday, pray at least one rosary a day, go on retreat once a year, go to Adoration once a week, ministry work at church, etc., then maybe I will eventually reach holiness and I will be at peace and have joy. I still strive for all of these things, but most important is that I have learned to “just be” in silence at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him speak to my heart as Mary of Bethany did. I cherish our daily encounters. That is where my peace and joy come from.
And then there is our perfect model, the Virgin Mary who in her “Fiat” said, “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to your Word.” Throughout her life she continued to have this disposition. We are human beings not human doings. Our being before the Lord must come before our doing.
It is a great privilege to still have the freedom to go to a church and be in the presence of Our Eucharistic Lord. When I can’t go to Him there, I sit at His feet in the morning and give Him my heart and receive His love. Jesus and coffee. What joy!
I look back on my life and see how many times I was like Martha-worried and anxious. I thank Jesus and Our Lady for being patient with me and loving me through all the joys and struggles of life.
Many times I have wondered if I was giving my children everything they need to grow in their faith journey. At a time when I was struggling with this question and worrying that my children may not know how much I love them, my oldest daughter had to remind me that only God can give us perfect love. The most important thing that I can do for my husband and my children is to be faithful in putting the ‘one thing’ first–growing in intimacy with Jesus. I can’t give what I don’t have.
We have entered into a time of confusion, violence, and many uncertainties…
“…but where sin increased, Grace abounded all the more” (Romans 5:20).
We are in an extraordinary “Time of Grace”. We may not know what tomorrow may bring but moment by moment we can be lead by Our Lady back to the Father through Jesus.
May you find peace and joy as you rest in the embrace of Jesus, your Bridegroom! He is waiting for you to receive Him!