Too Busy to Listen?

In this week’s Gospel from Luke (10:38-42), it’s easy to apply words from 2000 year old scripture to our life in 2010.

In this very short reading, Jesus was invited to Martha’s home.  Martha’s sister, Mary, sits at Jesus’ feet listening to his every word while Martha (who invited him there in the first place!) is busy – probably preparing food and drink for her guest.

Martha is a little bit irritated because her sister is just sitting around while she’s doing all the work. So what does Martha say to Jesus?  She says, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” 

Haven’t you ever felt exactly like Martha?  I have.  I’ve been running around my home trying to prepare food and drinks for my guests while other family members have been leisurely enjoying themselves.

How does Jesus respond to Martha’s unsolicited advice?  He says, “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.”

Jesus loves Martha and Mary and wants to remind Martha why and for whom she is laboring so hard.  He’s asking her to either listen to him while she’s working or to sit down with Mary and pay attention to what he has to say. True disciples eagerly listen to the word of the Lord.

Who are you rushing around trying to serve?  Are you also feeling worried and anxious quite often? Are you so busy with your every day life that there is no time for God?

Jesus is reminding Martha and each and everyone of us to remember who it is that we’re serving.  He’s asking us to put away our anxiety and fear and to put our faith in him.

If Martha had a hard time paying attention to Jesus when she was physically with him, how much harder is it for us today in a world of non-stop noise – TV, radio, computers, cell phones and piped-in music? It’s much more challenging for us to find silent time to simply be still and listen. Although it’s more challenging, it’s very possible.

Each of us has plenty of time for what we value. Jesus told Martha, “There is need of only one thing.”

We get to hear God’s Word not only in scripture but when we slow down long enough to listen.

Read his word.

Contemplate on what he’s asking of you.

Put his words into your mind and heart and most importantly, into your every day actions.

 You and I are the Body of Christ on earth.

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One Response to “Too Busy to Listen?”

  1. Marie Says:

    Vince, that certainly would be true of those who have more of a rlentioaship with the Bible than with God. It would be inaccurate to say that just happens in the Bible Belt, but that certainly would be one of the key places it happens. There is an old hymn “Holy Bible, Book Divine” whose title suggests that people think the Bible is as close as they will really ever get to God. In this, they forget Holy Spirit, who is Jesus to us.

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