Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The Right Choice
The sky after sunset last evening made me want to just sit still and look. I like this silver-gray light that often comes at twilight. The clouds added to the beauty, and the bit of color where the sun had gone down continued to develop and spread.
In Luke 10:38-42 Jesus praises Mary for sitting still and listening. Martha has complained to Jesus that she could use Mary's help in the kitchen. In almost all translations Jesus responds, "Mary has chosen the better part." Luke Timothy Johnson, however, in his commentary for the Sacra Pagina series, points out that the Greek simply says, "Mary has chosen the good part." Jesus is not using a comparative form. He is saying rather bluntly that Mary has made the right choice.
I tend to think of Jesus himself running around the land like the busy Martha. In Mark's Gospel, especially, he seems always on the go. Luke, in his Gospel, does stress that Jesus took time for prayer, but he still seems to be more Martha than Mary. And I see clearly that Jesus wouldn't get anything to eat if Martha came and sat with Mary. Jesus' statement, however, like the preceding parable of the Good Samaritan, forces me to re-evaluate. I try, and often succeed, in retirement to sit and listen. Having lived my life as a workaholic, nearly burning out twice, I still must persuade myself that "Mary has made the right choice."