In our driven world, it is all too easy to draw up simple images of these two sisters. But if we see Martha’s response as one of being too busy to attend to listening to Christ as her sister was doing, or to see in Mary’s action the superior thing to be doing, we really miss the point. For instead of a simple difference between action versus inaction, perhaps what Jesus was doing was commending both of them in how each showed hospitality. Doing and listening. Both really are needed. And both actions are embodied in the two sisters.
Jesus asked the lawyer after reciting the parable about the Samaritan, “Which one of these acted like a neighbor?” The lawyer replied, “The one who showed mercy.” Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.” The story and the parable show us how being a neighbor works. The story may have ended but it is not over. “Go and do likewise.” The rest of the story is up to us. Amen.
After this, the Lord appointed 70 others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go……..He said to them, “Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals, and greet no one on the road”. (Luke 10:1, 3-4)
What does Jesus mean “no purse, no bag, and no sandals”??!!