Reflection: Changing Seasons with Martha and Mary
Have you been enjoying the beautiful fall colors this year? I marvel and contemplate the good Earth God so lovingly created for us! If we pay attention, nature can reveal much about God’s ways, which are always higher than ours! (Isaiah 55:8-9). As our landscapes transform from lush greens to vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows, we are reminded in a gentle and beautiful way that the Earth and all life within it are transitioning. The busy, long, bright, warm, days of summer are now in the past. The crisp, cool air of fall signals preparation for the coming of a dark, still, and quiet winter.
Just as the change of seasons in nature is inevitable, so too are the changes of seasons in our life. One of the reflections that has been on my heart during this change of season is that of the story of Martha and Mary (Luke 10: 38-42). In this passage, Martha is active and busy! She occupies herself with the practical daily tasks of caring for herself and those around her by attending to the very real physical needs of life. What a beautiful gift it would have been to physically prepare a meal or sleeping place for our Lord Jesus and His disciples! Yet, we see that it is Mary who has chosen the better part. What is she doing? Simply sitting at the feet of Jesus! Her state of physical rest allows her attention to focus solely on Jesus. This posture and place surely allow for profound spiritual growth and deepening in personal relationship with Jesus. And how wonderful that this “better choice” of Mary is still available to us each day!
As Vincentians, we are called to many Martha-like moments. We are busy, working hard to ensure our neighbors have food, clothing, housing, heat, and all their basic needs met. What a beautiful gift of self-giving to those around us! Particularly, in our Vincentian charism, it is not only neighbors and friends we serve. We see the face of Christ in the poor! (Matthew 25:37-40). Despite the 1,990 years since Christ’s death and resurrection, we still care for the very real and ongoing physical needs of the body of Christ on Earth as we care for the physical needs of the least of our brothers and sisters. This is AMAZING and BLESSED work! It is truly a calling by God! However, it is not the only way to know and serve Him. We are all called to have both Martha and Mary moments in our lives.
As the physical seasons change and move towards physical dormition, it provides an opportunity to reflect. What is your current season in life and where is God calling you? Have you had many Mary-like moments of just sitting with the Lord in stillness recently? As nature transitions towards the silent and still season of winter, could God also be calling you towards a season of more moments of just being at rest in His presence? Intentionally creating silent space, both exterior and interior, simply to spend time together with the Lord, is a beautiful spiritual work! By sitting at the feet of Jesus we come to better know and trust Him who is Love itself. This will only deepen our Vincentian spirituality and allow us to better serve in charity our friends and neighbors!