Martha and Mary

Martha and Mary

by Sr. Maria Jose da Silva MMM           Brazil         09.01.2023

This theme has been in my mind since I started to reflect on my own life for the last two years between community commitments and the care of my mother.  My mother is widowed, elderly, infirm, and her two daughters do not live near her home.  Between June/July 2022 I was at home caring for her.

This time it was different because, since earlier in the year, I have been carrying the role as MMM Area Leader for the Americas.  My responsibility has doubled.  I have Team Meetings via Zoom, and others follow through with the decisions we make.   So, in fact, this time the holiday was mixed with many activities, in the house, caring for my mother and taking whatever was necessary to run my role as Area Leader.  This time the two women in the gospel were very present to my own experience.  As I reflect on them, I see that when Jesus came to visit them, both must make a choice and allow it to happen. Mary chose to sit close to Jesus and listen to him.  Martha continued her work in the house which was also necessary.  From this experience what did I learn?

I learnt not to become like a magician that tries to be in many places at the same time.  Life needs to be embraced with deep care for the one cared for and for the one who is the caregiver.  In my role as leader, I am aware of the importance of being respectful and committed with those I said ‘yes’ to carry this responsibility of leading.  Only with the grace from God and the open heart am I able to take the newness of each day as it comes.  To be a leader demands integrity and integration with each simple action in one’s life.

At the end of the day, I am accountable before God.  To carry the Area responsibility is part of my mission and to care for my mother is also important for me at this time in my life since she is vulnerable and dependent on care.  It is challenging but at the same time, my heart comes home fulfilled after being able to assure all that my responsibilities are done properly.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.  She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?  Tell her to help me!”  “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

I am challenged to be able to listen to what is most important at this time in my own life, but also there is a need to be able to be both Mary and Martha in different times.  They are very important and this conflict of being the two is part of every woman’s life.