“Mary has chosen the better part.”
When you think of Martha and Mary, it is understood that Mary is doing something special. We should not think Martha is doing something bad, for what she is doing is something good as well.
What we have in this gospel are examples of hospitality and discipleship. I am sure we have all at different times been good examples of both. We need to put a little context to this reading. Too often we impose what our experiences are upon the event in the Bible. In this case, we picture Martha removed from where Jesus and Mary are.
In the first century homes are not what they are today. At that time there would two or three small rooms around a small courtyard. There would not be doors but cloth coverings. Perhaps Jesus and Mary are sitting in the courtyard, Martha is in the small room preparing food. She can easily overhear what Jesus is teaching.
Now we have two people, who love Jesus, who want to hear what He is saying, but they disagree as to how they focus their attention.
Martha’s hospitality is needed and appreciated, and she is busy because she wants to do something special for Jesus. Mary’s discipleship, sitting at the feet of Jesus, is focused on Jesus. A good example that Jesus desires us to be disciples not just servants. It is better to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen.
But do not take anything away from Martha. She was listening too. Proof of that is later in this gospel she will proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God and that we will be raised on the last day. Even with all her busyness Martha understood the message. In every life there are times to offer hospitality and times to be disciples, the better part will always be discipleship.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen