Voices ever ancient, ever new. Tuesday-Week27-2013.

“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 10:41-42)

Saint John Cassian offers the following insight on these verses from today's Gospel:

“To cling always to God and to the things of God—this must be our major effort, this must be the road that the heart follows unswervingly. Any diversion, however impressive, must be regarded as secondary, low-grade and certainly dangerous. Martha and Mary provide a most beautiful scriptural paradigm of this outlook and of this mode of activity. In looking after the Lord and his disciples, Martha did a very holy service. Mary, however, was intent on the spiritual teaching of Jesus, and she stayed by his feet, which she kissed and anointed with the oil of her good faith…. In saying “Mary chose the good portion,” he was saying nothing about Martha, and in no way was he giving the appearance of criticizing her. Still, by praising Mary he was saying that the other was a step below her. Again, by saying “it will not be taken away from her,” he was showing that Martha’s role could be taken away from her, since the service of the body can only last as long as the human being is there, whereas the zeal of Mary can never end. (Conference, 1)”