In Luke 10: 41-42, it is written, “41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (KJV).
Martha and Mary were sisters. Martha was the eldest daughter in the household, and for an unmarried woman to receive a teacher, in this case, Jesus, into their household and engage in dialogue was an unusual social situation during those times.
Martha was overly preoccupied, engrossed with all the work she had to do in order to be prepared for the rabbi.
When Jesus arrived, Martha complained to Him, saying that Mary left her all alone to do all of the work.
Jesus mildly rebuked this attitude of Martha’s, reminding her that what she is disturbed with is not as important as she thinks. Some Bible commentators take the repeated words, “Martha, Martha” that Jesus makes as a call for discipleship (Anchor Bible Dictionary). In other words, this is a call to raise oneself and follow Christ, as Mary demonstrated by practicing a different kind of preparation.
If you will, the “Mary part” is the one that doesn’t allow distractions to dissuade us from more important things.
I like to host social gatherings, and in order for them to be a success, I must be focused and organized. These gatherings most certainly can be a lot of work, but they bring me and my guests great joy, so they are worth it.
However, in this story, what kind of preparation did Mary do before Jesus arrived that Martha was too busy to do?
To prepare for something that great and something so profound demands a hike in consciousness so as to enable one to climb and reach a mindset, which demonstrates complete consecration of thought.
I can’t imagine that Jesus was intimating to Martha that she should be untidy, insipid, and indifferent about being a gracious hostess, but the scene at Martha and Mary’s home that day was not to prepare for amusement, but rather to prepare to receive the guest of honor who would tell them things that none other could impart.
In that particular case, it was more essential that Martha set aside the temporal things in order to be fit to receive such a gift.
Showing up prepared and ready to receive more love, more wisdom, and more instruction means that we need to let go of a secular sense of self and become more transparent, then, after having gained more astuteness, if we bring that into all we do, then our experiences will be transformed from average to outstanding!
Whether we meditate, pray, ponder, go to mosque or temple, a peaceful resort, a church building, or one of the heart, we must show up, each one of us, ready, fully prepared to receive the gift of grace so our hearts can be set aglow with perfect love. Then, we will be able to set other hearts on fire.