Martha worked while Mary listened. Jesus told an annoyed Martha that Mary had chosen the better part. Paying attention only to work and not attending to spiritual matters isn’t the better part.
I don’t think that that is the main message in this week’s Bible reading from Luke 10:38-42. I think the main message has to do with challenging the status quo.
Martha was doing the traditional tasks for the women of her time. She was providing hospitality to a guest in her home. Mary was doing the traditional activity of a man of her time. She was sitting at the feet of a teacher – learning as a disciple.
Jesus embraced this out of bounds behavior on Mary’s part because that’s what Jesus does. He invites the least likely into the circle. Jesus communicates that everyone has a place at the table.
Think of all the reasons we have for keeping people out. Think of all the people that the ones who make the rules say are not allowed to join or lead.
There is something completely wrong with a status quo that tells people that they are not good enough to be in the club.
I’m really tired of the playground bully rules.