I am always surprised about the tension and high feelings that come up about Martha and Mary, as if one of the things we have to do is compare ourselves to others and choose one over the other. Jesus certainly points out something but it is not a comparison. Jesus calls Martha to task over her worry, not her choice of actions. The mention of Mary is to call Martha to think about what she does and thinks and does not compare her to Mary as Mary being better. One other certainty is that later Mary wails over Lazarus' death while Martha proclaims her beliefs. Jesus calls us to be true to him no matter who we are.
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
Things to Think About