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Women of the Bible: Martha and Mary

Martha and Mary, the call to be disciple of Jesus


The two sisters of whom Luke writes in the Gospel are well known to us, too well. On the occasion of a visit of Jesus to his two friends, Mary chooses contemplation, listening to the Word ; Martha, busies herself with serving Jesus. We thus understand Martha’s rebuke to her sister, but much less the response of Jesus. It appears that Jesus invited himself to visit Martha and Mary. He reveals Himself as the resurrected Lord who calls women as well as men to be his disciples. Mary understands intuitively. Seated at the Lord’s feet, like disciples in front of a rabbi, she listens with her whole heart. Martha, on the other hand, discovers the essential through her friend’s affectionate reproach. The Lord is there. His presence transforms everything: it is He who guides us. Our human ways are simply inadequate. When He is present, we must listen to His Word.

Martha, when your brother passes away, you allow the Lord of Life to teach you so that his questioning elicits from you a cry of faith similar to that of Peter, “You are Christ, the Son of God who comes into the world.” Help us to free ourselves of unnecessary concerns, of the rush to trivialities, and even of perfectionism. And Mary, share with us your attraction for the sole love of our life. Tell us how we must last in the contemplation of His Holy Face in order to recognize His traits in those of the poorest of His children fallen by the wayside and to dare, like Him, to wash their feet.

Word of the Lord: Luke 10; 38-42

Céline Comeau, sjsh


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