But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things, but few things are needed – indeed only one. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her’ (Luke 10:41-42).
I don’t know about you, but I find that I can be easily distracted. The world in which we live offers us competing demands for our time and attention. Have you ever felt distracted and worried?
I suspect, that a lot of us are like Martha. We see the needs of tasks to be done. We have become really good at working a multiple tasks. We have become really good at being busy. We have even become good at getting things done and filling our time. But that doesn’t mean we are feeling fulfilled or joyful. We can be easily distracted.
In the movie, City Slickers, Mitch finds himself in a conversation with Curly, and Curly reminds him that sometimes people worry about too much. Then he goes on to say, “Do you know what the secret to life is?”
Mitch says, “No, what?”
Curly holds up one finger and says, “One thing, just one thing”
When Mitch says, “What is that?” Curly reminds him that it is up to him to find out what his one thing is for him.
I have always loved that scene. It is a reminder to me to stay focused on what gives me hope and meaning. It is in being loved by God and by sharing that love and grace with others. Jesus is reminding Martha, and all of us who have ever been distracted, that our true identity comes from finding ourselves anew as children of God.
Archbishop Oscar Romero reminds us “The purpose of our life is God’s glory. However lowly a life is, this is what makes us great (The Violence of Love, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York, NY, 1988, p. 84).” As we begin a New Year, may God help us remember what is important for our life. May we choose, once again, to follow this better way.
Holy One, thank you for calling us and your church to be witnesses of your love and grace in this world. Help us to remember on this day that you call us to live our faith in this world. Teach us to live out loud. Give us the courage to live out of our calling and the hope that comes from you. In the hope that Jesus offers us. Amen.