Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.’

Luke 10.38–42

In the reading from St Luke’s gospel we find Martha busy in the kitchen, and Mary lounging about listening to Jesus. Instinctively many of us side with Martha.

We are busy people too, and we feel a bit sorry for her when she receives what seems like a ticking off for just getting on with things. We all, especially those of us who are natural ‘doers’, need to listen carefully to the Lord Jesus’ words. Mary has chosen the better part.

Martha, and perhaps all of us, often let the things we have to do distract us from the most important thing: knowing know God and resting in him, and then to see our lives with all the stuff we try to cram in within that light.

Who knows, from that place of rest in God, we might even have the courage to ditch some of those things which so easily distract us.