Mary has chosen the better portion, Jesus says. Jesus is the one who offers – he offers the life giving word as he offered the life-giving water to the Samaritan woman. Mary has chosen to receive it unlike Martha who being busy with giving hospitality to Jesus missed the things Jesus was there to offer. Being busy with work, many people today hardly find time to be at the feet of Jesus and listen to his Word. Those who count time in terms of money may consider it a waste of time.
But there are also many people who would attend daily Mass before they go for work and find sometime for praying and reading the Word of God no matter how busy they are. It is all a matter of choice: Mary chose to be with Jesus and he acknowledged it saying: “Mary has chosen what is better, and it shall not be taken away from her.” The passage is not a condemnation of the work Martha was doing or call for liberation of women from the traditional services they do. Jesus uses the situation as he does in other occasions too to teach on the importance of listening to the Word. Like Mary, we need to recognize what God offers and be quick to grab it! Listening to Jesus is a deeper sign of honouring and giving hospitality than anything we could offer him.
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