Abraham and Martha are contrasting examples
by Sister Mary Kabat
Have you seen someone or have you been the one who sits on a chair in the garage or on the front porch watching the people, dogs, bikes and cars go by? Now imagine that you are Abraham in the reading from the Book of Genesis 18:1-10. The day is hot, and you have no access to phones, newspapers, television, e-reader, and rarely even see a person not of your relatives or employees. Along come three men and you are most eager for their company and for whatever bits of news they might have to share.
Wouldn’t you too “run” to greet them, and “hasten” to ask your spouse and servant to help prepare a meal “quickly.” Abraham's eagerness to provide for his guests makes me smile. And what good news the guests share – Sarah will give birth to a son in the coming year.
Martha in the Gospel from Luke 10:38-42 is also welcoming a guest, Jesus, and probably some of the disciples, and she too is busy about the tasks of serving. She, however, doesn’t have the eagerness to provide and please like Abraham. She is so irritated that her sister Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet and not helping her that she complains to Jesus about it. Jesus has good news to share with her. “Calm down, Martha, you are so anxious and upset. Mary has chosen the better part right now. It will not be taken from her.”
Abraham was so aware of his guests. Martha was so aware of her “non-helping” sister. Their focus formed their spirit and either gave joy or irritation. We have choices at every moment, to cherish or be frustrated and cranky. Observe yourself in the week ahead. Choose the person Jesus wants you to be.
See I have God for my help. The Lord sustains my soul.
I will sacrifice to you with a willing heart and praise your name. Psalm 54:6,8