Martha seems to have been a person excessively into controlling circumstances and people. She wanted everything "just so" for the dinner she was preparing for Jesus. Mary, Martha's sister, was not cooperating, for she was more preoccupied with Jesus than with Martha's agenda (Lk 10:39). Consequently, Martha instinctively tried to manipulate Mary into helping with the dinner. Martha did this by trying to manipulate Jesus into commanding Mary to get to work (Lk 10:40). Martha tried to move Jesus with the lever of self-pity. She complained that she had been "all alone" to do the work for the supper (Lk 10:40). Poor, poor Martha, "working her fingers to the bone" — "all alone!"
Are you controlling and manipulating? Do you try to get people to feel sorry for you? Do you sometimes try to shame people into doing what you want? Do you without thinking try even to manipulate God?
Although we are naturally turned off to people like Martha, Jesus loves people like Martha "very much" (Jn 11:5). He shows this love by correcting them (Lk 10:41-42) and challenging them to believe in Him (Jn 11:26). Only by surrendering themselves to Jesus will the Marthas of the world be saved from self-destruction. For example, the Nazis and the Communists tried to control everything. They even played and continue to play God in determining who will live. They have destroyed or are destroying themselves and so many others. Marthas desperately need Jesus. Jesus loves Marthas, and He alone saves them.
Prayer: Jesus, may I let You control me. May I be controlled by Your Spirit rather than controlling.
Promise: "The time came when He Who had set me apart before I was born and called me by His favor chose to reveal His Son to me." —Gal 1:15-16
Praise: Jane stopped praying for her husband to change and began to pray that she find new ways to support and encourage him.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 24, 2000
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 27, 2000
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