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Luke [10:38-42] Jesus Visits Martha and Mary Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 10,38-42. Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister …More
Luke [10:38-42] Jesus Visits Martha and Mary

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 10,38-42.

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."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
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Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897)
Carmelite, Doctor of the Church
Autobiographical Manuscript C, 36 r°- v° (trans. Ronald Knox, 1958)


"Mary has chosen the better part"
The soul that it enfolded by Divine love can't remain inactive; though it may, like Mary Magdalene, sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to those words of his, so full of fire, so full of comfort; not appearing to contribute anything, but really contributing so much! More than Martha, as she hurries distractedly to and fro, and wishes her sister would do the same. Not that our Lord has any fault to find with Martha's exertions; his own Mother, Mother of God though she was, put up with humble work of that kind all her life; didn't she get the meals ready for the Holy Family ? Martha is a devoted hostess, but she won't keep calm, that's the trouble.
All the Saints have seen the importance of Mary's attitude, and perhaps particularly the ones who have done most to fill the world with the light of Gospel teaching. Surely those great friends of God, people like St Paul and St Augustine and St John of the Cross and St Thomas and St Francis and St Dominic, all went to prayer to find the secret of their wisdom; a Divine wisdom which has left the greatest minds lost in admiration. “Give me a lever and a fulcrum,” said the man of science, “and I'll shift the world.” Archimedes wasn't talking to God, so his request wasn't granted; and in any case he was only thinking of the material world. But the Saints really have enjoyed the privilege he asked for; the fulcrum God told them to use was himself, nothing less than himself, and the lever was prayer. Only it must be the kind of prayer that sets the heart all on fire with love; that's how the Saints shift the world in our own day, and that's how they'll do it to the end of time.