We have all read the story of Martha and Mary described in Luke 10:38-42. Martha, probably the older sister, was a hard-working homemaker who was always ready to serve and greet others. Mary, likely the younger sister, was more inquisitive, curious, and hungry for understanding.
In Luke‘s famous account, we see Martha becoming upset because Mary has chosen to listen to Our Lord instead of helping her with the household chores. Christ tells Martha that she should be content to do her tasks with love and that Mary has chosen “the better part”. Believe it or not, this simple story depicts the front line between traditional and New Order thinking and rhetoric!
The New Order Distortion
The New Order will tell us that Mary is simply an example of a spiritual feminist, a woman hungry for knowledge and greater understanding with the corresponding responsibility and advancement that such knowledge brings. This New Order will also tell us that Martha symbolizes the out-dated homemaker who limits herself to serving and greeting like some worker ant caught in the web of her own self-imposed limitations and life myopia. Having planted these two initial views, the New Order will then tell us that Christ called Mary’s role the “better part” thereby proving that He favored women taking a greater role in Church affairs, in their being disciples in the sense usually reserved for men, in their choosing learning over homemaking chores.
Since women were not viewed with any respect in Christ’s time, the New Order will tell us that this story proves conclusively that Christ rejected any notion that women were somehow second-class citizens who should not be heard. The New Order will tell us that this entire account proves that Christ would favor women priests, women preferring careers over being homemakers and, through the kind of demonic distortion that only The New Order can weave, that anything that women do to preserve and protect their right to learn and grow must therefore be a good thing (even murdering their unborn!).
The true meaning of the story of Martha and Mary is not the twisted trash that the New Order weaves, but something much different and entirely more profound. Christ is not saying that Mary has chosen the better part because she has rejected home duties as confining or limiting. He is not saying that Mary has chosen the better part simply because she is learning or listening or educating herself. By saying that Mary has chosen the better part Our Lord is not telling us that Martha is some ignorant fool who has limited herself to brooms and dishes while her sister reaches for books and wisdom. Mary has chosen the “better part” for five reasons:
- Mary has chosen to put God first above all else, including the mundane.
- Mary has realized that the Word of God is the condiment. without which all else has no flavor, no meaning, no purpose.
- Mary has realized that whatever one does gains sacredness when it is done in the service of God and His Word.
- Martha has allowed herself to forget that sweeping, cleaning and washing are holy acts if done with love, service, humility, and contentment in the service of God.
- Being holy is not about comparing or counting tasks or chores but about keeping one’s eyes on God, the Word of God, and Christ’s example.
So we see that once again the New Order has eyes but is blind, has ears but is deaf, has a heart but is cold, and has a brain but is foolish. It only sees what it wants to see, hears what it wants to hear, feels what it wants to feel, and believes what fits its distorted and corrupt view of life and the meaning of life. While it is true that women were not respected in Christ’s time, Our Lord’s every action and word demonstrated great respect for all people, including women. This story does not tell us what is or what is not a good purpose or mission in life. It does not tell us that being a scholar or career person is “better” than serving dinner. It does not tell us that being a feminist whose every action is geared toward preserving some pathetic, distorted view of equality, power, or gain is the way to go. It does not tell us that sweeping, cleaning, and washing dishes is a foolish waste of time. What it does tell us is that whatever we do will be foolish if not done in the service of God and for His glory. When we do not do for God, we will not do for others and, consequently, we will only do for ourselves, which is the beginning of sinfulness and perdition.
The Obvious Conclusion
What the simple story of Martha and Mary tells us is that Christ has given us a clear and simple test by which we may judge our actions and measure all actions and beliefs. Anything not done in the service of God’s Word and Will and inconsistent with Christ’s example will never be the better part.
Try as it might, The New Order will do back flips to tell us that abortion, non-traditional marriage, euthanasia, and all other “upgrades” are good for us, but these things will never be good for our salvation because they reject, violate and mock God’s Word and Will and contradict Christ’s example. At their very core, these evils are rooted in selfishness and arrogance and hence cannot come from nor serve an all Loving, all Wise, and all Good Creator. While the New Order is busy counting plates or seeking knowledge for selfish reasons, let us turn chores into prayer and seek wisdom to serve God! At the end of the day, Mary saw God Alone as the ultimate answer and Martha allowed herself to be distracted from that truth.
Copyright 2011 Gabriel Garnica