Mary Martha

Lou Lotz

READ : Luke 10:38-42

“Mary has chosen the better part.” (v. 42)

So which one are you: Martha or Mary? We tend to identify with one or the other. Martha is active; Mary is contemplative. Martha achieves; Mary appreciates.

The truth is, nobody is all Martha or all Mary. The tensions between the two sisters are inside each of us. All of us are both of them. I know a nun: Sister Mary Martha. That’s your name too. And my name. We’re all Mary Martha.

Your Martha part is active, achievement oriented. Martha is a fussbudget; always busy, always striving. Your Mary part is thoughtful, meditative. Mary likes to sit and listen.

If your Mary part dominates entirely, the basic physical needs of your life will not be met. For most of us, though, the danger of that happening is remote. The greater danger is that Martha will dominate. Anxious. Distressed. No time to listen. No time to think. No time to pray. No time to be, because there is too much to do.

What we have to bear in mind, as we deal with the tension between our Mary part and our Martha part, is that Jesus pronounced the Mary part to be the better part.

Slow down. Be quiet. Be calm. Don’t just do something, stand there! “Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10).


Lord, help me to balance my life.