I think St. Martha ought to be the patron saint of the United States. (Today is her feast day.) We are so busy! One translation of the familiar message to Martha in the tenth chapter of Luke’s gospel has Jesus saying, “Martha, Martha, you’re anxious and worried about so many things…” but another has it as: “you are so BUSY…” Either one fits the description of so many of us whose lives are so full of activity that we find it difficult to sit still. Even when there is nothing pressing, we find some necessity staring us in the face. Even when we’re eating (at least if alone) we look for something to read, just to save time! Even our children don’t have time to sit down to talk or eat with parents because after school means basketball or travel soccer, music lessons or karate… then homework on into the night.
Perhaps I’m making excuses for myself. It’s almost noon and I am still in my pajamas (which could be taken to be a shorts set, however!). I’ve had my coffee, eaten a banana and emptied the dishwasher in the 3 1/2 hours since I finally rolled out of bed, but I’ve also had some great conversation with my Sisters. Now, however, I have told myself I have to “get serious” and attend to all the catch-up things that await my attention. Somehow, I’m not sure I will be too productive today. And that’s okay. I think I’ll focus on the conclusion of Jesus who finished his message to Martha about all that she’s concerned about by saying, “Only one thing is necessary.” He was trying to get her to imitate her sister who was just sitting with him, reveling, I would guess, in his presence and what he was saying. So whether it’s a focus on the present moment with those around us or on the love of God, it sounds like enough for me today. And it sounds good.